Susanne Walitza

Susanne Walitza
University of Zurich | UZH · Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy - University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich

MD MSc - Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

About

494
Publications
80,190
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13,027
Citations
Citations since 2016
256 Research Items
9292 Citations
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Publications

Publications (494)
Chapter
The high prevalence of mental health dysfunction in childhood and adolescence, together with the fact that many mental disorders in adulthood emerge and consolidate in this period, underlines the importance of effective and safe treatments. The present chapter on neuropsychopharmacotherapy summarizes and discusses the critical issues of efficacy, t...
Article
Full-text available
Selective mutism (SM) mostly develops early in childhood and this has led to interest into whether there could be differences in relationships in families with SM compared to a control group without SM. Currently, there are merely few empirical studies examining family relationships in SM. A sample of 28 children and adolescents with SM was compare...
Article
Full-text available
Gangliosides are molecules widely present in the plasma membranes of mammalian cells, participating in a variety of processes, including protein organization, transmembrane signalling and cell adhesion. Gangliosides are abundant in the grey matter of the brain, where they are critically involved in postnatal neural development and function. The com...
Preprint
Full-text available
Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by vocal and motor tics lasting more than a year. It is highly polygenic in nature with both rare and common previously associated variants. Epidemiological studies have shown TS to be correlated with other phenotypes, but large-scale phenome wide analyses in biobank leve...
Article
Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by vocal and motor tics lasting more than a year. It is highly polygenic in nature with both rare and common previously associated variants. Epidemiological studies have shown TS to be correlated with other phenotypes, but large-scale phenome wide analyses in biobank leve...
Preprint
Current knowledge about functional connectivity in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is based on small-scale studies, limiting the generalizability of results. Moreover, the majority of studies have focused only on predefined regions or functional networks rather than connectivity throughout the entire brain. Here, we investigated differences in...
Article
Current knowledge about functional connectivity in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is based on small-scale studies, limiting the generalizability of results. Moreover, the majority of studies have focused only on predefined regions or functional networks rather than connectivity throughout the entire brain. Here, we investigated differences in...
Article
Full-text available
Global concern about problematic usage of the internet (PUI), and its public health and societal costs, continues to grow, sharpened in focus under the privations of the COVID-19 pandemic. This narrative review reports the expert opinions of members of the largest international network of researchers on PUI in the framework of the European Cooperat...
Article
Background Widely used psychotropic medications obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may change the volumes of subcortical brain structures, and differently in children vs. adults. We measured subcortical volumes cross-sectionally in patients finely stratified for age taking various common classes of OCD drugs. Methods The ENIGMA-OCD consortium sam...
Article
Full-text available
Number processing abilities are important for academic and personal development. The course of initial specialization of ventral occipito-temporal cortex (vOTC) sensitivity to visual number processing is crucial for the acquisition of numeric and arithmetic skills. We examined the visual N1, the electrophysiological correlate of vOTC activation acr...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental well-being of clinically referred children and adolescents and on their families from the perspective of mental health care professionals in Switzerland during the first year of the pandemic. Psychiatrists and psychologists for children and adolescents participated in...
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Full-text available
Objective Problematic use of digital media and problematic use of the internet (PUI) in particular are growing problems in the general population. Moreover, studies have shown links between PUI and symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This meta-analysis investigated whether children and adolescents with ADHD are more often a...
Article
Full-text available
Adolescence represents a critical developmental period where the prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) increases. Aberrant emotion processing is a core feature of adolescent MDD that has been associated with functional alterations within the prefrontal-amygdala circuitry. In this study, we tested cognitive and neural mechanisms of emotional...
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Full-text available
A deficit in emotion regulation skills could be an important factor influencing the vulnerability and maintenance of symptoms in selective mutism (SM). Unfortunately, to date only a few studies have examined emotion regulation in SM. Therefore, the present study investigated whether SM is associated with dysfunctional emotion regulation strategies....
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Full-text available
Background Widespread white matter abnormalities are a frequent finding in chronic schizophrenia patients. More inconsistent results have been provided by the sparser literature on at-risk states for psychosis, i.e., emerging subclinical symptoms. However, considering risk as a homogenous construct, as characteristic of earlier studies, may impede...
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Full-text available
Background Disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) are heterogeneous at the clinical and the biological level. Therefore, the aims were to dissect the heterogeneous neurodevelopmental deviations of the affective brain circuitry and provide an integration of these differences across modalities. Methods We combined two novel approaches. First, normative...
Article
Full-text available
Background Methylphenidate (MPH) is the first-line pharmacological treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). MPH binds to the dopamine (DA) transporter (DAT), which has high density in the striatum. Assessments of the striatal dopamine transporter by single positron emission computed tomography (SPECT) in childhood and adolescen...
Article
Full-text available
The interaction between brain serotonin (5-HT) deficiency and environmental adversity may predispose females to excessive aggression. Specifically, complete inactivation of the gene encoding tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (Tph2) results in the absence of neuronal 5-HT synthesis and excessive aggressiveness in both male and female null mutant (Tph2−/−) mi...
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Full-text available
Background: To assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on treatment demand and supply in children and adolescents with mental disorders during the first year of the pandemic from the perspective of child and adolescent psychiatrists and psychologists in Switzerland. Methods: The survey was conducted anonymously, in German or French and online...
Chapter
The high prevalence of mental health dysfunction in childhood and adolescence, together with the fact that many mental disorders in adulthood emerge and consolidate in this period, underlines the importance of effective and safe treatments. The present chapter on neuropsychopharmacotherapy summarizes and discusses the critical issues of efficacy, t...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of negative life events, self-esteem, and coping behaviour are considered to be contributing factors in the development of emotional and behavioural problems. Differences in the predictive value of these three factors on emotional and behavioural problems from adolescence to adulthood have not yet been studied. Multiple linear regression...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Epidemiological evidence from population-based surveys suggest that the psychological well-being of adolescents has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic itself, as well as by the safety measures implemented. The rationale of the study was to investigate the influence of the pandemic on psychiatric emergency service use, psyc...
Article
Full-text available
Larger thalamic volume has been found in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and children with clinical-level symptoms within the general population. Particular thalamic subregions may drive these differences. The ENIGMA-OCD working group conducted mega- and meta-analyses to study thalamic subregional volume in OCD across the lifespan...
Article
Background: Methylphenidate (MPH) is the first-line pharmacological treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). MPH binds to the dopamine (DA) transporter (DAT), which has high density in the striatum. Assessments of the striatal dopamine transporter by single positron emission computed tomography (SPECT) in childhood and adolesce...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Despite the growing evidence base for psychotropic drug treatment in pediatric patients, knowledge about the benefit-risk ratio in clinical practice remains limited. The 'Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM)-VIGIL' study aimed to evaluate serious adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in children and adolescents treated with antidepressants and/...
Article
Objective To investigate the association between Group-A streptococcal (GAS) infections and tic incidence among unaffected children with a family history of chronic tic disorders (CTD).Methods In a prospective cohort study, children with no history for tics aged 3 to 10 years with a first-degree relative with CTD were recruited from the European Mu...
Article
Full-text available
Background Psychophysiological measures of arousal are often considered as potential biomarkers for disruptive behavior disorder (DBD). Nevertheless, the evidence is mixed, possibly reflecting the heterogeneity of DBD and different subtypes of aggression. Additionally, arousal measures of the central nervous system (e.g. electroencephalogram: EEG)...
Article
Full-text available
Background Sertraline is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor with specific indications in child and adolescent psychiatry. Notwithstanding its frequent use and clinical benefits, the relationship between pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, efficacy, and tolerability of sertraline across indications, particularly in non-adult patients, is not f...
Article
The COVID-19 outbreak has profoundly affected adolescents' life. Adolescents with pre-existing psychiatric disorders have been at particular risk of increased mental health problems and problematic media use. 178 patients, aged 12–18 years, referred before the COVID-19 outbreak to child and adolescent psychiatry, participated in an anonymous online...
Article
Full-text available
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the accelerated spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus came jurisdictional limitations on mobility of citizens and distinct alterations in their daily routines. Confined to their homes, many people increased their overall internet use, with problematic use of the internet (PUI) becoming a potential reason for inc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a childhood-onset neurodevelopmental disorder of complex genetic architecture, characterized by multiple motor tics and at least one vocal tic persisting for more than one year. We performed a genome-wide meta-analysis integrating a novel TS cohort with previously published data, resulting in a sample size of 6,133 TS indi...
Article
Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a childhood-onset neurodevelopmental disorder of complex genetic architecture, characterized by multiple motor tics and at least one vocal tic persisting for more than one year. We performed a genome-wide meta-analysis integrating a novel TS cohort with previously published data, resulting in a sample size of 6,133 TS indi...
Article
Full-text available
As early detection of symptoms in the subclinical to clinical psychosis spectrum may improve health outcomes, knowing the probabilistic susceptibility of developing a disorder could guide mitigation measures and clinical intervention. In this context, polygenic risk scores (PRSs) quantifying the additive effects of multiple common genetic variants...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Methylphenidate (MPH) is the first-line pharmacological treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). MPH binds to the dopamine (DA) transporter (DAT), which has high density in the striatum. Assessments of the striatal dopamine transporter by single positron emission computed tomography (SPECT) in childhood and adolescen...
Article
Background Methylphenidate (MPH) is the first-line pharmacological treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). MPH binds to the dopamine (DA) transporter (DAT), which has high density in the striatum. Assessments of the striatal dopamine transporter by single positron emission computed tomography (SPECT) in childhood and adolescen...
Article
Full-text available
A deficiency in GM3-derived gangliosides, resulting from a lack of lactosylceramide-alpha-2,3-sialyltransferase (ST3GAL5), leads to severe neuropathology, including epilepsy and metabolic abnormalities. Disruption of ganglioside production by this enzyme may also have a role in the development of neuropsychiatric disorders. ST3Gal5 knock-out (St3ga...
Preprint
Full-text available
Number processing abilities are important for academic and personal development. The course of initial specialization of ventral occipito-temporal cortex (vOTC) for visual number processing is crucial for the development of numeric and arithmetic skills. We examined the visual N1, the electrophysiological correlate of vOTC activations across five t...
Article
Number processing abilities are important for academic and personal development. The course of initial specialization of ventral occipito-temporal cortex (vOTC) for visual number processing is crucial for the development of numeric and arithmetic skills. We examined the visual N1, the electrophysiological correlate of vOTC activations across five t...
Preprint
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a heritable disorder, but no definitive, replicated OCD susceptibility loci have yet been identified by any genome-wide association study (GWAS). Here, we report results from a GWAS in the largest OCD case-control sample (N = 14,140 OCD cases and N = 562,117 controls) to date. We explored the genetic architect...
Article
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a heritable disorder, but no definitive, replicated OCD susceptibility loci have yet been identified by any genome-wide association study (GWAS). Here, we report results from a GWAS in the largest OCD case-control sample (N = 14,140 OCD cases and N = 562,117 controls) to date. We explored the genetic architect...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objective: Higher thalamic volume has been found in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and children with clinical-level symptoms within the general population. Particular thalamic subregions may drive these differences. The ENIGMA-OCD working group conducted mega- and meta-analyses to study thalamic subregional volume in OCD across t...
Article
Objective Higher thalamic volume has been found in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and children with clinical-level symptoms within the general population. Particular thalamic subregions may drive these differences. The ENIGMA-OCD working group conducted mega- and meta-analyses to study thalamic subregional volume in OCD across th...
Article
Full-text available
The study presented in the following verifies some assumptions of the novel ‘unsafe world’ model of selective mutism (SM). According to this model, SM is a stress reaction to situations erroneously experienced via cognition without awareness as ‘unsafe’. It assumes a high sensitivity to unsafety, whereby the nervous system triggers dissociation or...
Article
Full-text available
BACKGROUND Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder. Neuroanatomic heterogeneity limits our understanding of ADHD's etiology. This study aimed to parse heterogeneity of ADHD and to determine whether patient subgroups could be discerned based on subcortical brain volumes. METHODS Using the large ENIG...
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing evidence for altered brain resting state functional connectivity in adolescents with disruptive behavior. While a considerable body of behavioral research points to differences between reactive and proactive aggression, it remains unknown whether these two subtypes have dissociable effects on connectivity. Additionally, callous-...
Article
Full-text available
In April 2020, the European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (ESCAP) Research Academy and the ESCAP Board launched the first questionnaire of the CovCAP longitudinal survey to estimate the impact of COVID-19 on child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP) services in Europe. In this brief report, we present the main findings from the second que...
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Full-text available
Gangliosides are glycosphingolipids, which are abundant in brain, are known to modulate ion channels and cell-to-cell communication. Deficiencies can result in aberrant myelination and altered immune responses, which can give rise to neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders. However, to date, little mechanistic data is available on how ganglioside...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown have been associated with multiple consequences for mental health, including an excessive and potentially harmful increase in screen media use. The specific consequences for children, adolescents and young adults with ADHD are still unknown. In the first part of this study, a short review of problematic use of the...
Article
Full-text available
Background To investigate the consequences of COVID-19 lockdown on screen media use in children and adolescents with mental health problems, an online survey was conducted on leisure media use before, during and after the lockdown of spring 2020. Method Parents of patients (10-18 yrs) referred to child and adolescent psychiatry participated in an...
Article
La pandémie Covid-19 a confronté toutes les familles à des défis sans précédent: suite à l’interdiction de contacts et l’absence d’alternatives de loisirs, les médias numériques ont pris une plus grande importance que jamais. Les enfants et adolescents avec des troubles psychiques préexistants étaient particulièrement affectés par les effets de la...
Article
Die COVID-19-Pandemie stellte alle Familien vor noch nie dagewesene Herausforderungen: Kontaktverbote und das Fehlen von Alternativen der Freizeitgestaltung führten dazu, dass digitale Medien einen grösseren Stellenwert erhielten als je zuvor. Kinder und Jugendliche mit psychischen Vorerkrankungen waren von den Auswirkungen der Pandemie in ganz bes...
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Full-text available
Zwangsstörungen gehören mit einer Langzeitprävalenz von 1-3% auch im Kindes- und Jugendalter zu den häufigsten psychischen Störungen. Es liegen zwei Erkrankungsgipfel im Altersbereich von 11-14 Jahren und im jungen Erwachsenenalter mit 20 Jahren vor. 20% der Zwangsstörungen beginnen vor dem Alter von 10 Jahren und 60% vor dem Alter von 25 Jahren. D...
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Full-text available
Background Understanding the mechanisms in the brain’s incentive network that give rise to symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD) during adolescence provides new perspectives to address MDD in early stages of development. This functional magnetic resonance imaging study determines whether instrumental vigor and brain responses to appetitive an...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Neurofeedback is considered a promising intervention for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). NEWROFEED is a prospective, multicentre, randomized (3:2), reference drug-controlled trial in children with ADHD aged between 7 and 13 years. The main objective of NEWROFEED was to demonstrate the noninferiority of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Understanding the mechanisms in the brain's incentive network that give rise to symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD) during adolescence provides new perspectives to address MDD in early stages of development. This functional magnetic resonance imaging study determines whether instrumental vigor and brain responses to appetitive a...
Article
Full-text available
Letters, foundational units of alphabetic writing systems, are quintessential to human culture. The ability to read, indispensable to perform in today’s society, necessitates a reorganization of visual cortex for fast letter recognition, but the developmental course of this process has not yet been characterized. Here, we show the emergence of visu...