Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory

Innovative Neurobiological Treatments of Difficult to treat Depression: Mechanisms, Effectiveness and Implementation

With my research group, I investigate difficult to treat unipolar depression, often characterized by frequent recurrences, with the ultimate aim to improve and personalize treatments for patients. I use neuroimaging approaches (PET/SPECT and MRI) and neuropsychological tests to predict treatment outcome/non-response and identify the vulnerability for recurrence. Among others, I do so by studying dysfunctional dopaminergic learning during pavlovian conditioning while addressing anhedonia. In addition, we apply whole brain computational models of dynamic brain network-connectivity to investigate the temporal dynamics and transitions in brain states underlying the risk of recurrence and non-response to treatment.

Name: Eric Ruhé
Telephone: 024-3610674
Visiting address:

Department of Psychiatry
Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, route 966
Reinier Postlaan 4
6525 GC Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Postal address: Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre,  
P.O. Box 9101
6500 HB Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Key grants

  • Comparing antidepressant (AD) tapering strategies for paroxetine and venlafaxine: the TAPER-AD trial. C.H. Vinkers, H.G. Ruhe, ZonMW Goed Gebruik Geneesmiddelen (80-86600-98-19026)
  • Predicting resilience and recurrence in major depressive disorder using normative models. H.G. Ruhe, A. Marquand. Radboudumc-DCMN junior researcher round 2020 DCMN.
  • Impaired REinforcement Learning and insufficient Antidepressant Treatment Effects in Treatment Resistant Depression (RELATE-TRD): A multimodality neuroimaging study. H.G. Ruhé, A.H.Schene, J. Booij. NWO/ZonMW VENI (#016.126.059)
  • Smartphone based Monitoring and cognition Modification Against Recurrence of Depression (SMARD). H.G. Ruhé, C.J. Harmer, M. Kas, J. Vorstman. Hersenstiching (HA2015.01.07).
  • Predicting Response to Depression Treatment (PReDicT). G. Dawson, J. Kingslake (P1Vital Ltd); National coordination for the Netherlands by H.G. Ruhe, D.J. Veltman, D.J.F. van Schaik. EU Horizon 2020 (SME Instrument project grant 696802).
  • Zorgstandaard ‘Gebruik van Psychofarmaca’ H.G. Ruhé, P.R. Bakker, E.N. van Roon, M. de Ruijter, H. Mulder, M. Simoons, R.A. Schoevers, R. Bruggeman, I.E.C. Sommer, W. Cahn, P.N. van Harten. Kwaliteitsontwikkeling GGZ
  • Fatty Acids in Context: Integrating Neuroendocrinology, Neuroimaging and Neuropsychology to Explain Recurrent Depression Vulnerability (FASCINATED). R.J.T Mocking, H.G. Ruhé, J. Assies, C.J. Harmer, A.H. Schene. AMC Scholarship.
  • Cognitive Reactivity, Rumination, and ATtention: Investigating vulnerability factors of depressiVE recurrence (CR2EATIVE). C.A. Figueroa, H.G. Ruhé, C.J. Harmer, A.H. Schene. AMC MD/PhD
  • Functionele MRI (Magnetische Resonantie Imaging) van recidivering bij patiënten met een 10 jaar gevolgde recidiverende depressieve stoornis: een prospectieve studie. A.H. Schene, D.J. Veltman, H.G. Ruhé. Hersenstichting (#2009(2)-72).

Key awards and prizes

  • Dutch Association of Psychiatry Annual Prize for Education in Psychiatry 2015 (with Em. Prof. W. Nolen)
  • VENI-laureate 2011 NWO/ZonMW (#016.126.059)
  • Ramaermedaille 2009 Dutch Association for Psychiatry (NVvP)
Key publications
  • Ruhe HG, Horikx A, Avendonk MJ van, Groeneweg BF, Woutersen-Koch H. Tapering of SSRI treatment to mitigate withdrawal symptoms. Multidisciplinary recommendations for discontinuation of SSRIs and SNRIs. Lancet Psychiatry 2019;6:561–62
  • Geugies H, Marsman JB, Mocking RJT, Figueroa CA, Schene AH, Steele JD, Ruhe HG. Increased ventral tegmental area dopaminergic responses in Pavlovian learning of primary rewards are associated with levels of anhedonia in drug-free patients in remission of recurrent major depressive disorder. Brain 2019;142:2510-2522
  • Figueroa CA, Cabral J, Mocking RJT, Rapuano K, van Hartevelt T, Deco G, Expert P, Schene AH, Kringelbach ML, Ruhé HG. Altered ability to access a clinically relevant control network in patients remitted from Major Depressive Disorder. Human Brain Mapping 2019;40:2771-2786
  • Cipriani A, Furukawa TA, Salanti G, Chaimani A, Atkinson LZ, Ogawa Y, Leucht S, Ruhe HG, Turner EH, Higgins JPT, Egger M, Takeshima N, Hayasaka Y, Imai H, Shinohara K, Tajika A, Ioannidis JPA, Geddes JR. Comparative efficacy and acceptability of 21 antidepressant drugs in the acute treatment of adults with major depressive disorder: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Lancet 2018;391:1357-1366.
  • Rive MM, Mocking RJT, Koeter MW, Wingen G. van, de Wit SJ, van den Heuvel OA, Veltman DJ, Ruhé HG, Schene AH. State dependent differences in emotion regulation between unmedicated bipolar and major depressive disorder. JAMA Psychiatry 2015;72:687-96.


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Theme 3:
Plasticity and Memory

Research Group

Principal Investigator
Ruhe, H.G. (Eric), PhD

Nessa Ikani
Anna Tyborowska

Dyllis van Dijk
Jessica de Klerk
Tamara de Kloe
Saige Rutherford

Update JUN 21 EL