Current Studies

The studies listed below are being conducted at Newcastle University, with links to NCMD. They are ongoing and from time to time need people to take part in them. Where this is the case, there is a link showing how you can get involved.

Lithium versus Quetiapine in Depression (LQD)

The Lithium versus Quetiapine in Depression (LQD) study is trying to work out which of two medications (lithium or quetiapine) added to an antidepressant is best in helping people with treatment resistant depression.

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Bipolar Lithium Imaging and Spectroscopy Study (BLISS)

The BLISS study looks at Bipolar disorder, a common and highly recurrent and debilitating psychiatric illness. Lithium effectively treats and prevents mania and depression, additionally reducing risk of suicide. We lack the ability to usefully predict response to lithium – clinical predictors require an established period of illness; relying on these delays potentially effective treatment....

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Randomised placebo controlled trial of Pramipexole addition to mood stabilisers for treatment resistant bipolar depression (PAX-BD)

PAX-BD is a major trial examining a novel treatment for bipolar disorder, funded by the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Board.  The study examines the effectiveness and safety of a drug, pramipexole which is currently used to treat Parkinson’s Disease, for patients with bipolar disorder who are depressed and have not responded to NICE recommended treatments.

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Psilocybin Study

From the psychedelic 60’s comes a potential treatment that may provide respite for patients not responding to conventional antidepressants. After a long hiatus of research into psychedelic compounds, the last twenty years have seen a resurgence of interest into their potential therapeutic properties, given their unique effect on consciousness and the brain.

Preliminary clinical trials investigating psilocybin (the ‘magic’ in ‘magic mushrooms’) for treatment of depression have shown promising results. Patients suffering from long standing symptoms have shown improvement after one or two doses of psilocybin that was sustained for up to six months, sometimes without the need for further antidepressant medication. These trials have paved the way for a larger randomised controlled trial that is currently under way. Newcastle is one of three UK sites of this multi-centred worldwide clinical trial investigating psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression.

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A Global PRospective, Multi-cEnter, ObServational post-markeT Study tO assess shoRt, mid and long-term Effectiveness and efficiency of VNS Therapy® as adjunctive therapy in reaL-world patIents with diFficult to treat dEpression. (RESTORE-LIFE)

The purpose of RESTORE-LIFE is to collect information about subjects with difficult to treat depression (e.g., treatment resistant depression) who are referred for treatment with VNS Therapy. A review of past and current medical and psychiatric history and several questionnaires will be completed. These questionnaires will include questions about depression and how it affects quality of life and use of health care services. In addition participants might be asked to perform a test called “THINC-it” that evaluates changes in cognition. 

This study is sponsored by LivaNova. The study is running across Europe and the UK. Centres involved in delivering the study are:

  • Newcastle University
  • Kings College London
  • Ku Leuven Belgium
  • Gottigen Germany
  • Freiburg Germany
  • Frankfurt Germany
  • Bonn Germany
  • Jena Germany
  • Wilhelmshaven Germany

With 3 more UK site due to open by early 2019 (Bristol, Leicester and Somerset).

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