Research Updates - December 2018

Recruitment for the study Impact of Eating Disorders on Biological Ageing began in August 2018. Eating disorders are associated with premature ageing and earlier onset of age-related diseases. The effects of prolonged dietary restriction on certain structures within our cells may mediate these adverse outcomes. These cellular structures can be investigated by analysing blood samples. The main purpose of the study is to compare blood samples between patients with eating disorders and healthy controls and to explore the effect of duration and severity of illness on these structures within our cells. The results of this study will provide further information on the biological effects on eating disorders on the body and guide treatment plans for patients. 

Meanwhile, recruitment for AMBER-Dep (Autobiographical Memory and Depression) is ongoing. This study aims to investigate the effects of depression on autobiographical memory. To date, service users have been very positive about being involved. This study will improve our understanding of memory, depression and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and will facilitate advances in the treatment of severe depression.

Follow-up assessments for the KARMA-Dep trial (Ketamine as an adjunctive therapy for Major Depression) finished in October 2018. This study investigated ketamine as an additional treatment to standard inpatient care for people suffering from acute depression. Results will be available later this year. The research team is currently designing a study involving ketamine as an adjunct treatment for acute depression for patients receiving ECT. ECT is a medically safe procedure for the treatment of depression. A combination of treatment with ECT and ketamine may accelerate recovery in patients suffering from acute depression. Further information on this study will be available early next year.

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