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Research & Development

There are many ways to get involved with research, at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

Research trials

Current studies include the following:

Autism

The Autism Cohort Study (ASC-UK) looks into the Autism Spectrum Disorder life course and ageing. The study asks adults on the autism spectrum to complete information about their life experiences on topics such as their autism diagnosis, information about their physical and mental health and life-course information (for example, social support, employment, lifestyle choices). Participants are given a ‘contact booklet’ from their clinician or research assistant which includes an information sheet and a contact form to be completed and returned if they are interested in taking part in the study. Once the Adults completed contact booklet has been received the research study team will send out a more detailed participant information sheet (in an easy to read format), a study consent form, as well as some questionnaires to be completed.

Bipolar disorder

The Ebselen Study aims to demonstrate a therapeutic effect of Ebselen as an ‘add-on’ treatment in patients currently experiencing hypo/mania. Participation involves weekly appointments with the study team over a 4 week period. Participants will be randomised to either Ebselen 600mg twice daily or a placebo. During the 4 week’s, participants will complete self-rated questionnaires and wear an active watch.  

Studies for Carers

COP-e Support aims to establish whether an online platform of digital resources is helpful for carers to someone with psychosis. Participation involves using the internet resources and completing online questionnaires.

Children and Young People

Assessing Mistrust in Young People aims to assess levels of mistrust in young people attending child and mental health services. Participation involves a 5-minute questionnaire.

Parent-Adolescent Interactions in the Treatment of Adolescents with Depression (PAI) is an interview study aiming to understand how adolescents respond to treatment and how to directly target depression more effectively. Participation involves an interview with a researcher.

Studies for Clinicians

Mental health practitioner survey into engagement with parenting aims to develop an understanding of clinicians’ experiences of working with service users who are also parents in Adult Mental Health, as well as experiences of working with parents of service users in CAMHS.

Depression

LQD aims to compare the clinical and cost effectiveness of lithium versus quetiapine when used as add-on therapies to antidepressant medication for patients with Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD). Participation involves pre-screening questions usually delivered over the phone. Following this a full screening and baseline assessment will be completed (this involves completing study questionnaires and having blood samples and physical observations taken). Participants are then randomised to either lithium or quetiapine. A research assistant will then meet with the participant at 8, 26 and 52 weeks to complete further questionnaires and blood tests. Participants also complete weekly True Colours self-rated questionnaires.

TACK II invites patients and mental health professionals to assess the effectiveness of DIALOG+, an app developed for clinicians working with patients with depression. The study is a randomized controlled trial, where clinicians will either work with patients using the DIALOG+ app, or follow usual care. This new approach has already been found to improve the quality of life of people with psychosis and we are hoping that patients with depression may experience similar benefits.

GLAD aims to explore the genetic predictors and environmental risk factors for depression and anxiety. Participants will be given the opportunity to donate a saliva sample to the NIHR Mental Health Biobank, which we hope will be a leading resource for future health and social care research. Anyone who has been diagnosed with or treated for anxiety or depression at one stage in their lifetime can participate in this study.
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Dementia

DLB Genetics Very little is known about the cause of Lewy Body Dementia (DLB), so by comparing the subtle differences in the genes of groups of people with and without DLB we can discover clues about which processes in our bodies may cause the condition. Researchers have found more than 20 genes that are associated with AD and this study aims to translate the expertise gained from the AD Genetics study to understand more about DLB. Participation involves a one-off visit to your home from a research nurse/practitioner which lasts around 2 hours and includes answering questions, providing a blood sample and a family member or friend also answering some questions.

IDEAL-2 This study will build on the unique resource of the established IDEAL national study which aims to identify key indicators of quality of life and living well with dementia. IDEAL-2 will continue to follow the original participants and their carers for three further years but it will also include additional participants, specifically people with young onset dementia and less common dementia subtypes.

ILiAD People with Alzheimer’s disease are more prone to seizures than people of the same age without dementia. It is also possible that patients with Alzheimer’s disease have abnormal electrical activity in their brains that may be stabilised with anti-epileptic medication. We are investigating whether Levetiracetam (an anti-epileptic medication) may also have an additional role in helping memory difficulties in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.  The study is of a cross-over design meaning that all participants will receive Levetiracetam. Half of patients will receive placebo first and half will receive Levetiracetam first. After twelve weeks, patients will be switched from placebo to Levetiracetam and vice versa.

PATHFINDER Problem Adaptation Therapy (PATH) is a new form of talking therapy for people with mild-moderate dementia and depression. PATH aims to help people with Alzheimer’s disease and their carers to find ways that they can change their environment and activities so that they can enjoy a more positive state of mood. PATHFINDER is a randomised-control trial evaluating the effectiveness of the PATH intervention using a newly adapted manual. Participants are randomly allocated to either 12 weeks of the modified PATH treatment or current treatment offered as usual within the NHS. Outcomes are measured at 0, 3, 6 and 12 months. The most important outcome is improvement in symptoms of depression at 6 months.

PrAISED This is a research study that will test the effectiveness of an activity and exercise programme for people with memory problems. In this study, we want to test two therapy packages with different levels of support.
– Therapy package 1 is standard falls prevention assessment and advice that is normally available from the NHS.
– Therapy package 2 involves support from occupational therapists, physiotherapists and rehabilitation support workers over one year. The number of visits received will depend on peoples’ needs and preferences.

EPAD  The European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia Longitudinal Cohort study is a unique and ground-breaking European initiative to streamline the testing and development of preventative treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. It is the largest ever public-private partnership in Alzheimer’s disease research, combining knowledge and expertise from 39 organisations across multiple sectors. EPAD will develop a platform on which new compounds can be tested in a streamlined and efficient way, delivering more effective, targeted interventions that can slow or stop dementia.

NTAD New Therapeutics in Alzheimers Disease will employ magnetoencephalography (MEG) to identify reliable, sensitive and tractable ‘biomarkers’ – biological signs – of abnormal brain structure that scientists believe is occurring early in Alzheimer’s disease. The aim is to develop a fit-for-purpose set of these identifiers based around MEG that can be used in studies which test novel interventions aimed at halting the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. 

 

Eating Disorders

TRIANGLE aims to establish whether an online platform of digital resources is helpful for individuals with anorexia nervosa, and their family member. Participation involves using the internet resources and completing online questionnaires.

Inpatient Wards

Improving Access to Psychological Therapy on Acute Mental Health Wards aims to look at improving access to psychological therapies for people with severe mental health problems on acute mental health wards and involves a 1-hour interview.

Oxford Cognitive Approaches to Psychosis studies

Thrive is a research study run by Oxford Cognitive Approaches to Psychosis (OCAP). The aim of the study is to assess the effectiveness of VR Cognitive Treatment for persecutory delusions. Participants will either received 4 sessions of cognitive treatment (Virtual Reality Confidence Building) or 4 sessions of relaxation (Virtual Reality Mental Relaxation).

GameChange is also run by Oxford Cognitive Approaches to Psychosis (OCAP). The study aims to test automated Virtual Reality Cognitive Therapy for patients with fears in everyday social situations.

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Perinatal Studies

CAPRI-Voc invites mothers who have experienced serious mental illness with infants aged between 9-18 months to explore different brain patterns of babies whose mums have experienced mental illness. The aim is to examine how the brain of infants processes voices and to understand how different factors may affect a child’s responses to sounds and voices.

Psychosis and schizophrenia

Alkermes intends to investigate if olanzapine and samidorphan (ALK 3831) can allow patients to have the benefits of olanzapine without the associated weight gain and metabolic risks.

AppRoVE aims to develop questionnaires to measure whether a therapy is helping people develop assertive responding to voices. Participation involves people who hear voices completing some questionnaires with researchers.

BI is a study assessing the effectiveness of a clinical trial medication. The medication has been developed to improve cognitive function in patients with Schizophrenia. Patients are invited to participate in a Computerized Cognitive Training program alongside taking the medication. 

NCMH stands for National Centre for Mental Health. The centre are building a large database containing information about participants’ mental health, physical health, lifestyle and also anonymized genetic information. The cohort is hoped to be a world-leading resource for mental health and social care research. Participants take part in a one-off interview and also donate a blood or saliva sample.

Molgen is a study investigating genetic and non-genetic factors which may increase the risk of developing an Adverse Drug Reaction. This study focuses on Clozapine, which is an anti-psychotic medication.  

The Otsuka Digital Medicine Study aims to explore the performance and acceptability of a digital medicine system with healthcare professionals and adult subjects with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or first episode psychosis. Participation involves using the digital medicine system for 8 weeks, and completing three assessments at baseline, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks.

The OxMIV study is using routinely recorded electronic health record data on individuals previously assessed by Early Intervention in Psychosis services to validate an assessment tool that could help improve the process of violence risk assessment. Details of the study and use of data can be found at www.psych.ox.ac.uk/team/daniel-whiting

PPIP2 is a pilot study that aims to test enough patients with psychosis to be able to define the prevalence of schizophrenia that is caused by an antibody mediated disorder. Participation involves a blood sample and permission to store the sample for future testing. Participants receive £10 reimbursement for their time.

RADAR is a randomised trial which aims to assess the benefits and risks of a flexible, supported strategy for antipsychotic dose reduction and discontinuation where possible, in people with schizophrenia and non-affective psychosis.

The Sleep & Psychotic Features Study investigates the relationship between sleep and mood in people who have been referred to NHS mental health services, to understand if sleep problems are present in these people.

SCENE looks to develop new ways of supporting patients to improve their social networks and wellbeing. Patients with psychosis are invited to take part in a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of working with a Social Coach for 6 months. Participants are invited to three follow up appointments over an 18-month period to assess wellbeing.  

7-Tesla aims to use an advanced brain imaging system (magnetic resonance spectroscopy) to examine changes in brain chemicals in people with psychosis. This study will focus on a natural chemical messenger called glutamate which is thought to be involved in the development of psychotic symptoms. Participation involves a blood sample, an MRI scan at 7 TESLA (1 hour & 30-minute symptom questionnaire), and cognitive tests (1 hour). Participants receive £75 reimbursement and reasonable travel expenses.

Smoking Cessation

TARS is a study for people who want to reduce, but not quit, smoking. As NHS support is aimed at quitting smoking, this study aims to find out if support from a health trainer and physical exercise can help to reduce smoking as compared to no support. Participation will be 9-15 months long, and may involve wearing an activity watch and weekly meetings with a health trainer. You will receive £40 shopping vouchers for completing the study.

ESCAPE assesses the benefits of integrating a smoking cessation treatment into routine Psychological care for depression and anxiety. People who currently smoke and are receiving support from IAPT Services will be invited to take part.

 

To find out more about any of these studies, please email: mentalhealthresearch@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk

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