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The Centre for Affective Disorders

The mission of the Centre for Affective Disorders (CfAD) is to foster research excellence and clinical translation regarding all aspects of mood and anxiety disorders which are among the leading causes of disability worldwide.   

CfAD was founded in 2013 to enhance synergies between world-leading clinician scientists in affective disorders at the Institute of Psychiatry including Professors Anthony Cleare and Carmine Pariante, as well as André Tylee, (now Emeritus Professor) and has been led since its inception by Professor Allan Young whose research focusses on the causes and treatments of severe affective disorders  

Affective disorders overlap with many other areas of psychiatry and medicine generally, so we work closely with colleagues throughout King's Health Partners and more widely.   

CfAD also operates an MSc in Affective Disorders, a unique programme led by the clinical academic team.

CfAD hosts the International Society for Affective Disorders and the World Psychiatric Association Section for Affective Disorders.

We are further closely linked with the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health:

The Affective Disorders and Interface with Medicine Theme which is led by Professor Carmine Pariante.

The Novel Therapeutics Cluster which is led by Professor Allan Young

Our research groups and labs provide a broad range of methods expertise including molecular, genetic, neuroimaging, neurofeedback, neurostimulation, experimental psychology, phenomenological psychopathology, virtual reality, mobile health, computerised decision support systems, pharmacological approaches, as well as world-leading clinical and clinical trials expertise. Our research groups use these methods to answer questions about basic pathophysiology, and how to translate these into novel experimental medicine-based treatments, as well as how to improve diagnosis, detection, and service delivery for affective disorders using personalised or precision medicine approaches, in addition to rigorous randomised controlled clinical trials. Further, our centre seeks to translate this into high quality education for clinicians and researchers.

Our research areas/groups:

Affective Disorders Research Group

The Affective Disorders Research 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’s Trust 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

Stress, Psychiatry and Immunology Lab and Perinatal Psychiatry 

Understanding the relationship between physical and mental health, for the enhancement of both.

The Stress, Psychiatry and Immunology Lab and Perinatal Psychiatry (SPI-Lab) Research Group, seek to understand the body’s response to stress and whether it contributes to the manifestation of psychological symptoms. 

The research spans a variety of clinical settings, with a particular emphasis on clinical conditions where there are prominent changes in stress hormones, such as women in the perinatal period (and their infants), depression, first-episode psychosis, and patients with medical disorders such as viral hepatitis and coronary heart disease. 

Moreover, the Group and the Laboratory have a strong emphasis on biological and molecular research relevant to mental health, using both biological samples derived from patients’ populations and experimental laboratory models.

The Group is led by Professor Carmine Pariante, Professor of Biological Psychiatry and Lead Consultant for the Liaison Perinatal Psychiatry Services at King’s College Hospital. 

Professor Pariante and many members of the Group are based in the James Black Centre, and work closely with the Centre for the Cellular Basis of Behaviour (CCBB). 

The other members of the group are based in the main Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience building.

Primary Care Mental Health

Former GP Professor André Tylee, leads the section of Primary Care Mental Health

His research concentrates on developing IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services to make sure they are the best they can be, and that they effectively support a wide range of people who seek help from primary care professionals.

Mood, Anxiety and Personality Clinical Academic Group

The South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) runs four IAPT services for depression and anxiety in the London boroughs of Southwark, Lewisham, Lambeth and Croydon (Professor Tylee undertakes clinical work at the Southwark IAPT).

All four IAPT services come under the management umbrella of the Mood, Anxiety and Personality Clinical Academic Group (MAP-CAG), a structure set up to facilitate greater collaboration between clinicians working in NHS services run by SLaM and researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN). 

Professor Tylee is academic director of the MAP-CAG, working with researchers from a range of departments at the IoP and mental health professionals working in SLaM's assessment and treatment teams (formerly called community mental health teams), psychological therapy teams, specialist services for people with personality disorders and specialist services for people with emotional and anxiety disorders. All these services are also managed via the MAP-CAG.






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