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Affective disorders

Affective Disorders Research Group

The group works to understand more about the neurobiological causes of mood disorders (also known as affective disorders); mental illnesses where the normal functioning of mood is disrupted, including clinical depression and bipolar disorder.

Much of this work is carried out with patients at the National Affective Disorder Unit, part of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust's (SLaM) National Division. Patients from across the country are referred to this service with treatment resistant depression, seasonal affective disorder and manic depression. Professor Anthony Cleare, who leads the Affective Disorders Research Group, also runs the inpatient unit of the Affective Disorders Unit, based at Bethlem Royal Hospital in Kent.

The research team uses a variety of techniques to investigate neurobiological changes in mood disorders and looks at the role of hormones and the link between the brain and the immune system within a research laboratory based in the National Affective Disorder Unit. The team also measures brain function using Magnetic Resonance Imaging machines at the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, jointly run by the IoPPN and SLaM. One collaborative neuroimaging study being carried out with this Centre is seeking to predict the response of patients with depression to medication by measuring reactions in the brain. This drug development project is funded by Glaxo Smith Kline.

The Group focuses on two other areas of research: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME) and the health effects of mobile phones. Both these tranches of research are carried out in collaboration with the General Hospital Psychiatry Research Group, also within the Department of Psychological Medicine.

Research into the contribution of neuroendocrinological and other neurobiological factors in CFS/ME is conducted with the Chronic Fatigue Research and Treatment Unit, a national specialist service run jointly by King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the General Hospital Psychiatry Research Group. Collaborative ongoing work with the Mobile Phone Research Unit in General Hospital Psychiatry is looking at the reasons for sensitivity to mobile phones, including police radios, and the potential effects of mobile phone radiation on neuroendocrine systems. This work is funded by the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research programme.

Other funders of research include NARSAD (The Mental Health Research Association) and the Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, based at the IoP and SLaM.

Professor Anthony Cleare is a Professor in Affective Disorders who trained in psychiatry at The Maudsley Hospital. Any potential PhD students interested in undertaking research in this Research Group should contact him: anthony.cleare@kcl.ac.uk.

The Affective Disorders Research Group is part of the Centre for Affective Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine.

Affective Disorders Research Group
Department of Psychological Medicine, PO74
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience
De Crespigny Park
London SE5 8AF

Contact Professor Cleare's PA: Caroline Loveland
Email: caroline.loveland@kcl.ac.uk 

+44 (0) 20 7848 0088

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