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Ana Weidenauer Ana WeidenauerPhD Student "Clinical Neuroscience" n790 (Supervisor: Ao.Univ.Prof.Dr.Matthäus Willeit)

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (Division of General Psychiatry)
Position: Doctor-in-training

ORCID: 0000-0003-1210-7617
T +43 1 40400 38370


Amphetamine; Dopamine; Fatty Acids, Omega-3; Positron-Emission Tomography; Schizophrenia

Research interests

Our group focuses on investigating dopaminergic changes underlying schizophrenia and psychotic disorders. It is known that patients with schizophrenia have an overly active dopamine system and show behavioral supersensitivity to amphetamine. Furthermore, we are interested in how cortical structures influence the regulation of the dopamine system and how dopamine synthesis and release are related. In our next project we will investigate the impact of Poly-unsatturated Fatty Acids on amphetamine-induced dopamine release in patients with schizophrenia, in individuals with an increased risk for schizophrenia and in healthy controls next to their cognitive abilities and brain activation during cognitive tasks. 

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

By using Positron Emission Tomography and the dopamine receptor D2/3 radioligand [11C]-(+)-PHNO we calculate amphetamine-induced dopamine release in healthy subjects and in patients with schizophrenia. Furthermore by structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging we will measure structural properties of cortical regions and brain activation during different tasks. 


  • Disentangling pre- and postsynaptic aspects of sensitization to amphetamine: a combined [18F]FDOPA / [11C]-(+)-PHNO PET study (2016)
    Source of Funding: OeNB (Oesterreichische Nationalbank), Anniversary Fund
    Principal Investigator

Selected publications

  1. Weidenauer, A. et al., 2016. Making Sense of: Sensitization in Schizophrenia. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 20(1), pp.1-10. Available at:
  2. Sauerzopf, U. et al., 2016. Are reprogrammed cells a useful tool for studying dopamine dysfunction in psychotic disorders? A review of the current evidence P. Bolam, ed. European Journal of Neuroscience, 45(1), pp.45-57. Available at: