Research into the early detection of mental illness brings clear benefits as not only may new cases be prevented, but those who do develop the disorder yet are able to receive appropriate early treatment may have better clinical outcomes, including lower rates of admission and suicide, as well as greater function. Such an approach is not only clinically advantageous, but economically brings cost benefits to the NHS.
Current ongoing work involves collaborations with colleagues in the Department of Psychosis Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry using multi-modal imaging techniques to examine those at risk of developing psychosis, funded by the EU and the Wellcome Trust, and, with Stephen Wood in Birmingham, a new MRC-funded study looking at structural brain changes serially over time. Additionally, with Nick Dale at Warwick, I am working on developing a bedside technique of examining D- and L-Serine, a marker of the NMDA receptor function, dysfunction of which has been implicated in schizophrenia. Together with Steven Marwaha, we are beginning to pilot measures of mood instability in clinical populations with different diagnoses to try and determine whether the experience is the same in different disorders and continue our work examining mood instability in the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey.
Until 2012, I was Chair of the Philosophy Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and am part of the Maudsley Philosophy Group and have an active interest in the philosophy of psychiatry and neuroscience. I recently co-edited The Maudsley Reader in Phenomenological Psychiatry and have an ongoing programme of work examining delusions as well as responsibility in mental illness with Lisa Bortolotti at the University of Birmingham. I am one of the series editors for International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry and on the editorial board for the British Journal of Psychiatry.
You can listen to the interview via a free app on iTunes and google play store entitled 'Raj Persaud in conversation', which includes a lot of free information on the latest research findings in mental health, plus interviews with top experts from around the world. Download it free from these links
photo of matthew broome from http://www.psych.ox.ac.uk/team/PIs/matthew-broome