Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Charlotte Allan

BA (Hons), MBChB (Leeds), MRCPsych, MD (Res), FHEA

NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer

  • Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College

Depression in the elderly is common, but still under-recognised. It causes severe changes in people’s function and ability to live independently, and leads to increased mortality. I am interested in the question of why people with no previous history of depression become depressed in late-life. This can't be fully explained by social changes (e.g. retirement, bereavement and physical illness) and it is becoming clear that biological factors related to ageing have an important role in late-onset depression -- the same risk factors that predispose to heart disease may also affect brain structure and function, increasing the risk of depression.

My research is part of the Whitehall Imaging project and spans a range of disciplines from epidemiology, medicine and psychiatry, to neuroscience and brain imaging. I am using multi-modal magnetic resonance imaging to investigate whether life-time risk factors change brain structure and function, making people more vulnerable to depression and dementia.  I am recruiting participants from the Whitehall II Study at University College London (UCL), who have been followed up for 25 years and have a wealth of prospective data on cardiovascular and other risk factors relevant to depression and cognitive changes (including dementia).

As an Academic Clinical Lecturer in  Old Age Psychiatry, teaching is an important part of my role. I lecture on the Oxford MRCPsych course and to medical students at Oxford University Medical School. I have extended my core teaching roles by developing the Oxford Psychiatry Podcast Series ( and "Psychiatry and the Arts", a collaboration with the Ashmolean Museum.

I am undertaking advanced clinical training as a registrar (ST6) in Old Age Psychiatry at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (Older adults inpatient services) and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Psychological Medicine). Previously I have undertaken clinical placements in old age inpatient and community settings, in both Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. In 2011 I was awarded Royal College of Psychiatry Core Trainee of the Year. 


Neurobiology of Ageing

Recent publications

More publications