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Psychiatric disorders are major sources of disability and excess mortality, and are more widespread than many realise. Research in this theme explores key aspects of the biological, epidemiological and social aspects of psychiatry, in order to better understand and treat them, and to improve outcomes.

Psychiatric sciences

The research is multidisciplinary and includes teams working on:

Disease areas include depression, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, psychosis and disorders of old age.

Research within this theme is conducted at specialist centres including the Centre for Suicide Research, the Oxford Cognitive Health and Neuroscience Clinical Trials Unit and the recently opened Oxford Cognitive Health Clinical Research Facility. Our researchers also benefit from strong links with P1vital; a clinical research organisation specialising in experimental medicine for central nervous system disorders.

Research highlights include:

  • Demonstrating in a large randomised controlled trial that lithium is more effective than valproate in bipolar disorder
  • Quantifying the risk of violence in schizophrenia
  • Showing that some cases of schizophrenia may have an autoimmune basis
  • Revealing effects of the Alzheimer’s disease risk gene ApoE on brain structure and activity in healthy young adults
  • Showing convincingly that Community Treatment Orders do not reduce readmissions under the Mental Health Act.

Research within the Centre for Suicide Research has contributed to some of our major research impacts. 

Our team