HOW CAN WE BETTER UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEMS INSIDE OUR HEADS?
Care for the mind and body together.
The Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) is Europe's premier neuroscience and mental health research institute and has global leadership teams in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases and the basic science underpinning this.
The IoP is home to several centres of excellence including the MRC Centre for Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry, the Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases, the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, the Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences, the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health and NIHR Biomedical Research Unit for Dementia.
Work done at the Institute has led to some incredibly important discoveries. Researchers have led the international scientific field in the development of blood tests to help diagnose Alzheimer's disease. They have also created a test to measure the disease in the brain using brain imaging, a test that has already been introduced into the clinic and reduces the costs of drug trials. Researchers at the IoP were a key part in the international collaboration that led to one of the most significant medical discoveries of our time: the discovery that the gene Clusterin increases the risk of Alzheimer's, which was recognised by Time magazine as one of the top discoveries of 2009. The team has also shown that this protein is easily detected in the blood and anticipates the onset of Alzheimer's perhaps ten years in advance of symptoms and in very recent research they have show how this protein is involved in the disease, information that can now be used to develop new treatments.
Research on Autism Spectrum Disorder has also been precedent-setting. Using imaging technology, researchers at the IoP were the first to develop a test for the diagnosis of Autism. This development is an important advancement in establishing an objective test for accurate diagnosis and treatment. The same imaging techniques have made it possible to categorise the severity of illness.
It is this world-class research-led learning experience that attracts the very best students, who go onto make a difference in the world and exert a positive impact on how we understand, prevent and treat mental illness and other conditions that affect the brain.
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