Julian Koenig

Julian Koenig
University of Cologne | UOC · Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy for Children and Young Adults

Prof. Dr.
struggling with administrations since 2004

About

406
Publications
101,781
Reads
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4,625
Citations
Introduction
Research at the lab focusses on treatment resistant, rare, and emerging psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. Our translational approach to biological research in child and adolescent psychiatry is aiming at the development of new treatment approaches and gathering clinical evidence for their efficacy and safety. We are committed to improve biologically and digitally informed diagnostics in child and adolescent precision psychiatry.
Additional affiliations
July 2021 - January 2022
University Hospital Cologne
Position
  • Head of Specialized Outpatient Clinic for Treatment Resistant Disorders / Neurostimulation
July 2021 - present
University of Cologne
Position
  • Professor
April 2021 - present
Editor: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Position
  • Springer
Education
October 2015 - November 2019
Universität Heidelberg
Field of study
  • Medicine / Experimental Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
April 2010 - December 2013
Universität Heidelberg
Field of study
  • Medicine / Major: Psychiatry, Minor: History of Medicine & Medical Psychology
October 2008 - September 2009
SRH University Heidelberg, School of Therapeutic Sciences
Field of study
  • Music Therapy

Publications

Publications (406)
Article
Recent focus on the consequences of early life adversity (ELA) in neurobiological research led to a variety of findings suggesting alterations in several physiological systems, such as the cardiovascular system. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we focused on the relationship between early life maltreatment (ELM), one form of ELA, and re...
Article
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Given its non-invasive nature, there is increasing interest in the use of transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) across basic, translational and clinical research. Contemporaneously, tVNS can be achieved by stimulating either the auricular branch or the cervical bundle of the vagus nerve, referred to as transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve s...
Article
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Understanding the association between autonomic nervous system [ANS] function and brain morphology across the lifespan provides important insights into neurovisceral mechanisms underlying health and disease. Resting state ANS activity, indexed by measures of heart rate [HR] and its variability [HRV] has been associated with brain morphology, partic...
Article
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The Neurovisceral Integration Model (NIM) is one of the most influential psychophysiological models addressing the interplay between the autonomic (ANS) and central nervous system (CNS). In their groundbreaking conceptual work, integrating autonomic, attentional, and affective systems into a functional and structural network, Thayer & Lane laid the...
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Background: Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) is a promising therapeutic option for major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults. Alternative third-line treatments for MDD in adolescents are scarce. Here we aimed to assess the effects of acute tVNS on emotion recognition in adolescents with MDD. Methods: Adolescents (14-17 years) with MD...
Article
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Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive treatment for adolescent major depressive disorder (MDD). Existing evidence on the efficacy of TMS in adolescent MDD awaits quantitative synthesis. A systematic literature search was conducted, and data from eligible studies were synthesized using random-effects models. Treatment-covariate i...
Article
Introduction The Neurovisceral Integration Model (NIM) proposes a complex interplay of visceral and neural structures that are crucial for adaptive responses to environmental demands. The aim of the present study was to investigate this circuitry using experimental manipulation via transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS), measures o...
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Identification of individual differences in drug use is warranted, as a history of use is associated with future drug problems. Such drug use is thought to disrupt inhibitory and motivation networks involved in emotion regulation (ER). Higher resting heart rate variability (HRV), a biomarker of effective inhibitory abilities, is associated with les...
Article
Zusammenfassung: Das Jugendalter stellt eine wichtige Phase in der Entwicklung der Verarbeitungsgeschwindigkeit, der Aufmerksamkeit, des Gedächtnisses und der exekutiven Funktionen dar. Im Rahmen einer Normierungsstudie der kognitiven Basistestung (COGBAT) für das Jugendalter wurden Testwerte bei n = 269 Jugendlichen im Alter von 12 bis 15 Jahren e...
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Among individuals with clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR), perceptive symptoms are more frequent but have less clinical significance in children/adolescents compared to adults. However, findings are based on clinical interviews relying on patient’s recall capacity. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) can be used to explore experiences in real...
Article
Background Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a highly prevalent transdiagnostic psychiatric symptom in adolescents. Research in adults has begun to investigate neurocognitive processes associated with NSSI as potential underlying phenotypes. However, research on neurocognitive function in adolescent patients with NSSI is scarce. Methods In this s...
Article
Background: Most people tend to overstate positive aspects of their experiences, i.e., a positive valence bias. However, some people tend to have attenuated attention for negative aspects of perceived information, i.e., negative valence bias. This dispositional tendency in either valence is especially significant for emotion regulation as it influe...
Article
The Standardized Assessment of Personality-Abbreviated Scale (SAPAS) has been used extensively to screen for personality disorders (PD), including adolescents. Yet, it is unclear how well the SAPAS performs in screening for impairment in personality functioning (IPF), Criterion A of the alternative Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disord...
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Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) show self-regulatory deficits, associated with reduced heart-rate variability (HRV). However, results on reduced HRV in BPD remain heterogeneous, thus encouraging the search for developmental constructs explaining this heterogeneity. The present study first examined predictors of reduced restin...
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Short sleep duration and poor sleep quality are common in the general population. This study tested if a 2-week course of daily transcutaneous vagal nerve stimulation (tVNS) improves sleep in community-dwelling adults. Participants were n = 68 men and women aged 18–75 years randomised into four groups: early and sham tVNS and late and sham tVNS. Ea...
Article
Excessive smartphone use has been repeatedly related to adverse effects on mental health and psychological well‐being in young adults. The continued investigation of the neurobiological mechanism underlying excessive smartphone use – sometimes also referred to as "smartphone addiction" (SPA) – is considered a top priority in system neuroscience res...
Article
Research has established the diagnostic validity of borderline personality disorder (BPD) in adolescence. The roots of BPD often lie in childhood; however, significantly less is known about the presence and correlates of BPD traits in school-age children and whether these are comparable with those observed in adolescents. Trained psychologists admi...
Article
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is among the most severe mental health problems with long-lasting deterioration of functioning. According to a Cochrane review, evidence for methods focused on treatment for adolescent BPD patients is very limited. Aims of the study were to demonstrate the noninferiority of adolescent identity treatment (AIT) c...
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There is a continuing debate concerning “adjustments” to heart period variability [i.e., heart rate variability (HRV)] for the heart period [i.e., increases inter-beat-intervals (IBI)]. To date, such arguments have not seriously considered the impact a demographic variable, such as gender, can have on the association between HRV and the heart perio...
Article
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Higher vagally mediated heart rate variability (vmHRV), reflecting vagal activity as indexed by heart function and lower stress vulnerability, is associated with higher perceived social support. Seeking social support is an adaptive stress response, and evolutionary theories suggest that females use this strategy more than males. The current study...
Article
Alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and its effector hormone cortisol have been proposed as one possible mechanism linking child maltreatment experiences to health disparities. In this series of meta-analyses, we aimed to quantify the existing evidence on the effect of child maltreatment on various measures of HPA axis activity...
Article
Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a highly prevalent transdiagnostic symptom and risk marker for mental health problems among adolescents. Research on the neurobiological mechanisms underlying NSSI is needed to clarify the neural correlates associated with the behavior. We examined resting-state-functional-connectivity (RSFC) in n = 33 female adol...
Article
Persistent, interpersonal difficulties are a core feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Theories propose that these may result from an insufficient object constancy, for example, the insufficient capacity to maintain feelings of closeness (FC) toward a person when he or she is absent. Based on this assumption, this study examined whethe...
Article
Background Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), typically observed in the context of various mental disorders, represents a highly prevalent and serious problem among adolescents. Based on studies linking NSSI with stress, alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning have been suggested to contribute to the development and maint...
Article
Introduction: This study aimed to assess patient compliance with a newly established electronic patient-reported outcome measure (ePROM) system after urologic surgery and to identify influencing factors. Methods: Digital surveys were provided to patients undergoing cystectomy, radical or partial nephrectomy, or transurethral resection of bladder...
Article
Adolescence represents an important phase in the development of cognitive functions. In this standardization study of the neuropsychological test battery Cognitive Basis Assessment (COGBAT), scores of n = 269 healthy adolescents between 12 and 15 years were compared with existing standardized scores of individuals between 16 and 30 years. Associati...
Article
Cardiac inter-beat intervals (IBIs) reflect autonomic functioning and self-regulatory abilities and are often investigated by traditional time- and frequency domain analyses. These analyses investigate IBI fluctuations across relatively long time series. The similarity graph algorithm is a nonlinear method that analyses segments of IBI time series...
Article
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Home treatment (HT) may offer an effective and cost-efficient alternative to inpatient treatment for children and adolescents with acute mental disorders. This study introduces and evaluates a pilot HT project from Bern, Switzerland, with HT completely replacing an inpatient treatment. A total of n = 133 children and adolescents with acute mental d...
Article
The ability to regulate one's emotions (emotion regulation, ER) with regard to individual short- and long-term goals presents one of the most central human skills. A disrupted development of ER skills is associated with psychopathological outcomes. Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) presents a frequent and impairing phenomenon among young individuals....
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Introduction Patient suicidality is a frequently experienced topic for psychotherapists. Especially adolescents with borderline personality pathology (BPP) often exhibit suicidal tendencies. Previous research which examined therapists’ countertransference towards suicidal patients suggested that therapists are negatively affected and distressed by...
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Reduced heart rate variability (HRV) is associated with overweight and obesity in adults. However, little is known about this relationship in early childhood. We investigated the relationship between resting vagally-mediated HRV and body mass index (BMI) in Australian preschool children. Children were recruited from 13 non-government early learning...
Article
Music therapy holds promising potential to support adolescents with depression mastering developmental tasks as well as improving emotion regulation. The objective of the present pilot study was to assess the feasibility, acceptance and potential effectiveness of a theory driven music therapy treatment plan for youth with depression. The treatment...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Aggressive behavior in reaction to threats, frustration, or provocation is prevalent in borderline personality disorder (BPD). This study investigated aggressive behavior and its biological correlates in adolescents with BPD. Methods: Twenty-one female adolescents with a DSM-IV BPD diagnosis and 25 sex- and age-matched healthy cont...
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Purpose To validate a German translation of the convalescence and recovery evaluation (CARE) as an electronic patient-reported outcome measure (ePROM) and use it to assess recovery after major urological surgery. Methods The CARE questionnaire was provided to patients scheduled for major urological surgery preoperatively, at discharge and 6 weeks...
Article
Full-text available
Non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, such as transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS), have considerable potential for clinical use. Beneficial effects of taVNS have been demonstrated on symptoms in patients with mental or neurological disorders as well as transdiagnostic dimensions, including mood and motivation. However, sin...
Article
Objectives Migraine headaches are a prevalent and burdening disorder for the public worldwide. Both traditional preventive drugs and behavioral-based interventions have been used as treatment in the prevention of migraine attacks. However, benefits of alternative interventions in patients with primary headache disorders have not yet been fully expl...
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Oscillatory activities of the brain and heart show a strong variation across wakefulness and sleep. Separate lines of research indicate that non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep is characterised by electroencephalographic slow oscillations (SO), sleep spindles, and phase–amplitude coupling of these oscillations (SO–spindle coupling), as well as an i...
Article
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Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a considerable health problem among adolescents. Affect regulation by means of self-injury may promote the maintenance of NSSI. However, existing findings have limited ecological validity. The present study aimed to assess emotional and interpersonal states preceding and following incidents of NSSI in female adole...
Article
Full-text available
Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a serious clinical problem, particularly for adolescents and young adults. NSSI is a complex behavior that emerges through the intersecting effects of social, psychological, and biological mechanisms. Although the social and psychological contributions to risk for developing NSSI are relatively well understood and...
Article
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The impact of school-closings on adolescents’ mental health and well-being in the management of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is subject to ongoing public debate. Reliable data to inform a balanced discussion are limited. Drawing on a large ongoing multi-site project in Germany, we assessed differences in self-reported psychopathology in a matched...
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Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) involves non-episodic irritability and frequent severe temper outbursts in children. Since the inclusion of the diagnosis in the DSM-5, there is no established gold-standard in the assessment of DMDD. In this systematic review of the literature, we provide a synopsis of existing diagnostic instruments f...
Article
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Background There is a lack of studies examining psychosocial functioning in patients with non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), especially in adolescents, and rates of impaired functioning in existing literature vary considerably. These variations may be attributable to further risk factors that influence psychosocial functioning. Thus, the aim of the s...
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Well‐powered studies on the physiological concomitants underlying affect and its regulation during emerging adulthood are warranted to provide novel insight into mental health. The association between autonomic nervous system activity and emotional states occurring under natural conditions in daily life was investigated in individuals (N = 549, age...
Article
Prompt access to appropriate professional care for adolescents with self-harm thoughts and respective behaviors (suicidal behavior and non-suicidal self-injury [NSSI]) is crucial as both are associated with an increased risk of suicide in later life. The present study aimed to describe the duration from initial onset of thoughts and incidents of se...
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Full-text available
Introduction Neural alterations in limbic and prefrontal circuits in association with self-injurious behavior have been studied primarily in adult borderline personality disorder (BPD). In adolescent patients, research is still sparse. Here, we used resting functional near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to examine oxygenation of the prefrontal cortex...
Article
Objectives Behavioral disturbances in adolescence are potentially linked to aberrant functioning of the thyroid gland. Accordingly, alterations of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis might impact psychopathological development. Yet corresponding research in adolescents with nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and comorbid mental disorders is s...
Article
The present study aimed to expand on previous findings that pre-treatment autonomic nervous system (ANS) functioning serves as a predictor of clinical outcome in adolescent borderline personality disorder (BPD), while examining whether the relationship between ANS functioning and treatment outcome may vary as a function of early life maltreatment (...
Article
Full-text available
Theoretically, panic disorder and agoraphobia pathology can be conceptualized as a cascade of dynamically changing defensive responses to threat cues from inside the body. Guided by this trans-diagnostic model we tested the interaction between defensive activation and vagal control as a marker of prefrontal inhibition of subcortical defensive activ...
Article
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Vagally mediated heart rate variability (vmHRV), a measure of the parasympathetic nervous system’s control over the heart, is often negatively related to maladaptive emotional outcomes. Recent work suggests that quadratic relationships involving these factors may be present; however, research has not investigated gender differences in these nonline...
Article
Full-text available
Background The heterogeneous presentation of borderline personality disorder (BPD) represents a clinical challenge. There is an ongoing scientific debate whether the heterogeneity can best be understood in terms of qualitative (categorical) or quantitative (dimensional) differences between individuals. The present study examined the latent structur...
Article
Full-text available
Darwin emphasized the intimate relationship between the brain and the heart over 150 years ago. Healthy aging is associated with significant changes in both the brain and the heart. The changes between these, the two most important organs of the body, are linked via the vagus nerve. In this review we examine the normative changes with aging and the...
Article
Research has shown associations between adverse parenting experiences and (borderline) personality disorder ([B]PD). A biopsychosocial model suggests that child characteristics and the environment interact in the development of symptoms. However, prospective data in this aspect are limited. This study focused on maternal bonding impairment (MBI; 2...
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Full-text available
In recent clinical practice, a biomarker of vagal neuroimmunomodulation (NIM), namely the ratio of vagally-mediated heart rate variability (vmHRV) and CRP, was proposed to index the functionality of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. This study aims to transfer and extend the previous findings to two general population-based samples to expl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, such as transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS), have considerable potential for clinical use. Beneficial effects of taVNS have been demonstrated on symptoms in patients with mental or neurological disorders as well as transdiagnostic dimensions, including mood and motivation. However, sin...
Article
Full-text available
Background Air pollution has been linked to increased mortality and morbidity. The Program 4 of the Healthy Aging in Industrial Environment study investigates whether the health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity (PA) can be fully realized in individuals living in highly polluted environments. Herein, we introduce the behavioral, psycholog...
Article
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Background: Adolescence is a critical time for brain development. Findings from previous studies have been inconsistent, failing to distinguish the influence of pubertal status and aging on brain maturation. The current study sought to address these inconsistencies, addressing the trajectories of pubertal development and aging by longitudinally tr...
Article
Psychophysiological research methods allow important insights into normative and pathological functioning of the human organism. This position paper briefly reviews existing studies, investigating the psychophysiological concomitants of personality pathology, with an emphasis on developmental aspects. Focussing on measures, indexing autonomic nervo...
Article
Full-text available
Background. Predicting suicide attempts is a challenging task for clinicians and researchers, particularly among high-risk individuals (i.e. adolescents with lifetime suicide attempts). In this study, we examined whether adolescents were able to predict their own risk of attempting suicide in the future and whether borderline personality disorder (...