Research Overview

Current research in the immunopsychiatry research group is focused on the role of low-grade inflammation (cytokines, genes and peripheral immune cells) in depression and schizophrenia. We use epidemiological population-based cohort studies to examine causes and psychiatric consequences of inflammation. Identifying early-life predictors of illness is helpful for developing appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection and intervention.

We use observational studies to gain a better understanding of psychiatric patients who display evidence of low-grade inflammation. We use clinical trials to examine the effect of immune-modulating drugs on cognition, mood and psychosis. This work may help to inform a more personalised approach to treatment of major psychiatric disorders.

Please see below for more information on ongoing key research projects.

Projects


The Insight Study

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, this proof-of-concept randomised controlled trial is testing whether treatment with the anti-inflammatory drug, tocilizumab, improves symptoms of depression. This study is now closed and is no longer recruiting participants. Once available, study results will be shared on our website.



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Immunopsychiatry Programme

Funded by the MRC, we are examining:
(1) Whether inflammation plays a causal role in depression and other psychiatric, neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative disorders.
(2) Inflammation-related subgroups of depression and other disorders, to inform the development of clinical trials of immunotherapy for psychiatric disorders.

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 Psychosis Immune Mechanism
Stratified Medicine

Funded by the MRC and supported by the NIHR Bristol BRC, this multicentre (Bristol, Birmingham and Cambridge) proof-of-concept RCT is testing whether treatment with the anti-inflammatory drug, tocilizumab, improves negative symptoms in people with first episode of psychosis.
This study is currently recruiting participants.  Please get in touch if you are interested in taking part or would like to know more. awp.pimsresearchtrial@nhs.net

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Inflammation, Affect and Cognition

Using data from population-based cohorts, we are examining:
(1) Genetic determinants of cognitive function.
(2) Association of immune markers with cognitive function, affect, anxiety, and depression.
(3) Evidence of causality in these associations.

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Physical and Psychiatric Multimorbidity
(The LINC Collaboration)


Funded by the MRC, the LINC collaboration is examining the internalising disorder and cardiometabolic multimorbidity across the lifespan using population-based, genetic and clinical care data from the UK.

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Early-Life Depression and Anxiety Risk Prediction


Supported by the NIHR Bristol BRC, we are examining trajectories of depressive and anxiety symptoms in young people and associated risk and resilience factors, to develop a tool for predicting persistent symptoms in collaboration with young people, parents and teachers. 

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Contact Us

We are happy to hear from prospective group members, research collaborators, participants, media, patients and others. Email: info@immunopsychiatry.com

Our address

Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit
University of Bristol
Oakfield House
Oakfield Grove
Bristol
BS8 2BN
United Kingdom
     

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