Lancaster University

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£2m Grant For Bipolar Research

09/26/2008 15:29:47

Mental health researchers at Lancaster University have won a £2m programme grant to investigate bipolar disorder.

The new £3m Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research at Lancaster aims to develop treatments to facilitate recovery and improve relapse prevention for people with bipolar disorder – the little understood and distressing mental health problem associated with experiences of recurrent periods of depression and mania.

The Centre has been awarded the grant by the National Institute for Health Research in its first major award for research into bipolar disorder. The PARADES programme will run over 5 years in collaboration with Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, Nottingham and Manchester Universities.

The research will focus on the development, evaluation and implementation of psychological approaches to bipolar disorder and co-morbid problems such as substance and alcohol abuse.

The Centre’s Director Prof Steven Jones said: “This important grant provides an exciting opportunity to make significant progress in improving the quality, range and effectiveness of the psychological approaches offered to people living with bipolar disorder.”

The research will look at factors associated with suicide and severe self harm as well as looking at how the legal system deals with people with bipolar disorder. There will also be an investigation of people’s experience of anxiety in bipolar disorder as well as substance abuse and alcoholism and how this may be treated.

The Spectrum Centre also plans to employ its strong links with the NHS to inform and improve services for people with this diagnosis. This work has the potential to impact on both the financial cost (estimated at £200m per year for the NHS and with annual wider social costs of £ 2 billion) and personal consequences (which include high risks of self harm, suicide, substance use and other mental health problems) of bipolar disorder.