Past studies

The studies listed below are being conducted at Newcastle University, with links to NCMD. They have already been completed.


Randomised placebo controlled trial of Pramipexole addition to mood stabilisers for treatment resistant bipolar depression. PAX-BD was a major trial examining a novel treatment for bipolar disorder, funded by the NIHR HTA Board.

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Psilocybin Study

The Psilocybin Study was a multi-centred worldwide clinical trial examining the safety and efficacy of psilocybin (the ‘magic’ in ‘magic mushrooms’) in participants with treatment-resistant depression.

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Bipolar Lithium Imaging and Spectroscopy Study (BLISS)

Lithium can effectively treat and prevent mania and depression, as well as reduce risk of suicide. However, it does not work for everyone. The BLISS is examining why lithium is an effective treatment for some patients with bipolar disorder but not others, using magnetic resonance techniques.

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Sleep Problems in Bipolar Disorder

This study assessed sleep in patients with bipolar compared to healthy patients. It was found that patients with bipolar disorder had high rates of sleep problems, including insomnia, over-sleeping, obstructive sleep apnoea, and inconsistent patterns of going to sleep and waking up.

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Ketamine-ECT Study

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective treatment for depression but has many side effects, particularly memory problems. This study explored whether ketamine may protect against memory problems from ECT. The results showed that ketamine made no difference to the beneficial effect of ECT.

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