On this page you can find information on the projects we are currently working on. Click on each project title to expand.
STOP (Suicidality: Treatment Occurring in Paediatrics)
Our largest current project, the STOP study, is an EU FP7 multi-centre study with a consortium of partners in six countries across Europe and is now approaching its final stage. Dr Paramala Santosh is the project’s coordinator and lead investigator. It responds to a specific call of the FP7 Cooperation Work Programme, “HEALTH.2010.4.2-3: Adverse drug reaction research’’. The STOP project has developed a new web-based STOP Suicidality Suite of Measures (Suicidality Assessment scale, Medication Side-Effect Suicidality scale, Risk and Resilience Suicidality Scale) for children and adolescents (8 to 18 years old) using the HealthTrackerTM system. HealthTrackerTM is an online tested health-monitoring platform that uniquely allows multimodal presentation of questionnaires and assists in automatically allocating questionnaires based on developmental level rather than chronological age. Currently, these measures are being tested in observational trials with medication (Fluoxetine, Risperidone/Aripiprazole and Montelukast) which could then be used in pharmacovigilance and in epidemiological, observational, and registration.
Click here to visit the STOP website
MILESTONE (Managing the Link and Strengthening Transition from Child to Adult Mental Health Care)
MILESTONE is an EU FP7 project consisting of a consortium of 12 partners in eight countries that will run until 2019. We are leaders of one of the work packages focused on the development and validation of the MILESTONE Suite of Measures; The Transition Readiness and Appropriateness Measure (TRAM) and the Transition Related Outcome Measure (TROM).
The MILESTONE project is an EU-wide study determining care gaps in current services across healthcare systems in Europe and evaluating an innovative transitional care model. More specifically, it aims to map current services and transitional policies across EU; develop and validate transition-specific outcomes measures; conduct a longitudinal cohort study of transition process and outcomes across eight EU countries; develop and test, in a cluster-randomised trial, the clinical and cost-effectiveness of an innovative transitional care model; create clinical, organisational, policy and ethics guidelines for improving care and outcomes for transition age youth; and develop and implement training packages for clinicians across EU. MILESTONE will provide robust evidence for the most cost-effective way to meet the as-yet-unmet need of young people who fall through the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) - Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS) divide; facilitate the development of integrated models of care and function; improve health care outcomes and system efficiencies; and ensure take-up of best practice. It has active and intensive participation of young people, carers, advocacy groups and key stakeholders and involves two SMEs. Findings from the project have the potential to transform mental health care in EU for young people and the results will assist policy makers in making informed and evidence-based decisions for improving health systems, enhancing patient outcomes, quality of life, service satisfaction, and improving health status at individual and population levels.
MATRICS (Multidisciplinary Approaches to Translational Research In Conduct Syndromes)
MATRICS is an EU FP7 study with a consortium of 19 partners in seven countries across Europe. The aim of the study is to identify the neural, genetic and molecular factors involved in the pathogenesis of aggression/antisocial behaviour in (i) normally developing adolescents, (ii) children and adolescents with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD), and (iii) children and adolescents with Conduct Disorder (CD). MATRICS will test the key hypothesis that different aggression phenotypes result from differential impairment of arousal mechanisms which in turn dysregulates three basic neural functions: regulation of control mechanisms of aggression, emotional value rating of others, and empathy and moral decision making. Current classifications of aggression phenotypes will be deconstructed into these three neural systems that are coupled with hypo- and hyper-arousal mechanisms. To study these functions, the project will employ the same psychological tasks in both animal aggression models and human disruptive behaviour disorders samples concurrent with the assessment of neural, neurochemical, genetic, autonomic nervous system and endocrinologic markers.
Rett syndrome project
AGGRESSOTYPE (Aggression subtyping for improved insight and treatment innovation in paediatric psychiatric disorders)
AGGRESSOTYPE is an EU FP7 project in which we are collaborating with a consortium of 23 sites in 11 countries. The aim of this project is to gain a deeper understanding of different types of aggression in patients with ADHD, conduct disorder, as well as in the general population in order to better predict aggression development. The project aims to build a knowledge chain from molecule to behaviour, investigate known and novel genes, gene-networks and their epigenetic interactions, and map their mode of action from the molecular via the cellular to the brain-circuit level. This is done by employing innovative approaches in humans and animal models accompanied by highly powered analyses of the neural substrates of the aggression subtypes. The project's output is maximised by optimally balancing the use of large, existing data sets with new data acquisition. The project’s interdisciplinary research will lead to novel, accurate algorithms for reliable aggression prediction, which will be validated in existing longitudinal studies in children and tested for their predictive value in adult outcome. In addition to this approach towards prevention, we test promising non-pharmacological biofeedback for personalised treatment and prevention of overt aggression.
We have received funding for a project from Reverse Rett, a UK charity working to speed treatments and cures for Rett syndrome. Our project will develop and validate an online measure to measure patient centred somatic and behavioural symptoms, cognition and physiology for use in assessing treatments for RS, using the HealthTrackerTM system.
Development and Validation of a questionnaire to assess concerning behaviour and mental health in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Assessment of Concerning Behaviour Scale (ACB)
This project is part of the ‘IAMHealth’ (‘Improving Autism Mental Health’) NIHR grant. The work package is aiming to develop a questionnaire to assess mental health and identify concerning behaviours in children and adults with ASD. The questionnaire will be called the ‘Assessment of Concerning Behaviours Scale’ (ACB). Adult/young person and child self-report versions will be created, as well as clinician, teacher/employer and parent versions. The development stage of the project involves using focus groups and cognitive interviews to identify constructs that the questionnaire should capture and to address wording and formatting issues. Focus groups will be conducted with children, young people and adults with ASD, as well as clinicians, teachers and parents. The questionnaire will then be validated; individuals with ASD (and their parents, teachers/employers and clinicians) will be recruited and asked to complete the ACB, along with some gold standard questionnaires. Participants will complete these questionnaires online on HealthTracker, at two time points (6 months apart).