A place where psy­chi­atric re­search is ap­plied to real-world set­tings

THE (Times Higher Education) - - KING'S COLLEGE LONDON -

The In­sti­tute of Psy­chi­a­try, Psy­chol­ogy and Neu­ro­science is the “birth­place of mod­ern psy­chi­a­try”, says in­terim ex­ec­u­tive dean Pa­trick Le­man. Its re­search his­tory spans the un­der­stand­ing of “shell shock”, the de­vel­op­ment of the biopsy­choso­cial model of psy­chol­ogy, and the cre­ation of the spe­cial­ties of neu­ropsy­chi­a­try and child psy­chi­a­try.

The IoPPN nur­tures re­la­tion­ships across the univer­sity, and par­tic­u­larly with King’s Health Part­ners. This has al­lowed the in­sti­tute to drive the in­te­gra­tion of phys­i­cal and men­tal health­care, an area in which King’s is a world leader.

“But what’s re­ally dis­tinc­tive about the in­sti­tute is our re­ally in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ship with the Maud­s­ley [hos­pi­tal], which means we’re pretty much the only place that has the abil­ity to do the ba­sic bench re­search and then ap­ply it to real-world set­tings,” says Le­man.

The IoPPN’s re­search has had con­sid­er­able im­pact over the years. IoPPN re­searchers found the link be­tween reg­u­lar cannabis use and on­set of psy­chosis, and re­vealed the shock­ing preva­lence of per­son­al­ity disor­ders. This put per­son­al­ity disor­ders on pol­i­cy­mak­ers’ agen­das, re­sult­ing in spe­cial­ist per­son­al­ity dis­or­der ser­vices be­com­ing rou­tinely avail­able on the NHS.

In ad­di­tion, col­lab­o­ra­tive links on ev­ery con­ti­nent al­low King’s re­searchers to tackle in­ter­na­tional issues, such as the pro­vi­sion of health­care for vic­tims of con­flict in Sri Lanka suf­fer­ing from post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der.

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