Despite major advances in the understanding of brain abnormalities associated with mental disorders in the past two decades, the long term outcome of the major disorders remains only marginally better than a century ago.
One problem is that most abnormalities can only be demonstrated convincingly in groups rather than individuals. However a growing body of evidence from our own studies and from others demonstrates that combining information from several sources does provide clinically useful information in individual cases.
The time is ripe for demonstrating application of neuroscientific advances in routine clinical practice.
What we are doing about ...
Predicting outcome in early psychosis
In several of our research studies employing multiple brain imaging procedures, we are refining the measurements with the greatest potential to reveal clinically useful information about outcome in psychotic disorders, with the goal of developing a clinically applicable protocol for prediction of 3 year outcome and guiding treatment in early psychosis.
Improving treatment of schizophrenia, ADHD and mood disorders
Our major goal is to optimize the combined use of psychological, pharmacological and/or physical strategies for more effective treatment of major mental disorders.
In a study funded under the MRC experimental medicine in mental health program, we are examining the effects of combined cognitive and pharmacological modulation of the brain networks that support attention and problem solving, in ADHD and schizophrenia.
We are also developing a procedure employing transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) guided by brain imaging to target specific networks involved in auditory hallucinations and resistant depression.
Understanding the mechanism underlying the symptoms of psychosis
We are investigating how the failure of coordinated function of brain networks leads to core symptoms of psychosis such as hallucinations and thought disturbances.
In addition to employing state-of-the-art imaging techniques such as 7T MRI and magnetoencephalography (MEG) to assess brain structure and function, we continue to refine tools for the clinical assessment of subtle but persistently disabling clinical symptoms such as thought disorder across psychotic disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Current projects include...
- Multimodal Imaging Study of Psychosis (MISP): funded by Wellcome Trust and Hadwen Trust, using MR spectroscopy, structural and functional MRI and magnetoencephalography (MEG) to extend understanding of brain abnormalities in psychosis
- Treatment of brain networks in schizophrenia and ADHD: funded by MRC; using MR spectroscopy, functional MRI and MEG to investigate concurrent pharmacological and psychological modulation of networks.
- Defining the disturbance in cortical glutamate and GABA function in psychosis: (collaboration with Universities of Manchester and Cardiff) funded by MRC; employing MR spectroscopy, MRI and MEG
Recent publications include...
- Palaniyappan L, Simmonite M, White TP, Liddle EB, Liddle PF (in press) Neural primacy of the salience processing system in schizophrenia. Neuron
- Palaniyappan L, Liddle PF (2013) The diagnostic discontinuity in psychosis: A combined study of cortical gyrification and functional connectivity, Schizophrenia Bulletin PMID:
- Palaniyappan L, White TP, Liddle PF. (2012) The concept of salience network dysfunction in schizophrenia: from neuroimaging observations to therapeutic opportunities. Curr Top Med Chem. 2012;12(21):2324-38.
- Brookes MJ. Liddle EB, Hale JR Woolrich M, Luckhoo H, Liddle PF, Morris PG (2012) Task Induced Modulation of Neural Oscillations in Electrophysiological Brain Networks. Neuroimage 63(4):1918-30.
- Liddle EB, Hollis C, Batty MJ, Groom MJ, Totman JJ, Liotti M, Scerif G, Liddle PF. (2011) Motivation and methylphenidate modulate task-related Default Mode Network deactivation in ADHD Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology 52(7), 761-777.
For a full list of publications, please see our member profiles.
We have links with the Universities of Manchester, Cardiff, Oxford, Cambridge, Glasgow and Warwick, Institute of Psychiatry, University College London, Shanghai Mental Health Centre, University of British Columbia and Stanford University.