Research Groups > Experimental and Clinical Neuroscience Psychiatric Imaging

“Our research focuses on understanding the causes of mental illnesses to improve their treatment. We primarily use functional imaging and experimental models in patients and controls”

Mental illness is a major cause of ill health and premature death. It accounts for four of the six leading causes of adult disability in the world and one in every ten hospital beds in the UK is allocated for the treatment of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

Currently we are investigating brain changes that may lead to the development of psychotic disorders, using multi-modal imaging with PET and MRI. We are also examining the effects of cannabis and other drugs on the brain, and the influence of common genetic polymorphisms on brain function. We aim to understand why some patients respond to treatments and others don’t, using novel approaches to diagnose mental illness. We are also developing animal models for future drug development.

Brain scan showing increases in brain dopamine accumulation in people as they develop psychosis.

 Psychiatric Imaging
Group head

Oliver Howes (Dr)

Telephone 38546/33160
Group members

Katherine Beck

Michael Bloomfield (Mr)

Telephone 020 8383 3703

Peter Bloomfield (Mr)

Robert Ali McCutcheon

Elias Mouchlianitis (Dr)

Sudhakar Selvaraj (Dr)

Telephone 33703
Visiting worker

Danilo Arnone

Ilaria Bonoldi

Sean Froudist Walsh

Sameer Jauhar

Fiona Pepper

Admin contact

Angela Whyte (Mrs)

Telephone 33446 and 33774
Contact details
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8383 1023
Facsimile: +44 (0) 20 8383 1783
Selected publications
Howes, O. D., Murray, R. M., Dec. 2013. Schizophrenia: an integrated sociodevelopmental-cognitive model. LancetAbstract

Demjaha, A., Murray, R. M., McGuire, P. K., Kapur, S., Howes, O. D., (2012). Dopamine synthesis capacity in patients with Treatment-Resistant schizophrenia. The American journal of psychiatry.  Abstract

Selvaraj, S., Turkheimer, F., Rosso, L., Faulkner, P., Mouchlianitis, E., Roiser, J. P., McGuire, P., Cowen, P. J., Howes, O., (2012). Measuring endogenous changes in serotonergic neurotransmission in humans: a [11C]CUMI-101 PET challenge study. Molecular psychiatry 17 (12), 1254-1260. Abstract

Howes, O., Bose, S., Turkheimer, F., Valli, I., Egerton, A., Stahl, D., Valmaggia, L., Allen, P., Murray, R., McGuire, P., (2011). Progressive increase in striatal dopamine synthesis capacity as patients develop psychosis: a PET study. Molecular psychiatry 16 (9), 885-886. Abstract

Stokes, P. R., Shotbolt, P., Mehta, M. A., Turkheimer, E., Benecke, A., Copeland, C., Turkheimer, F. E., Lingford-Hughes, A. R., Howes, O. D., (2012) Nature or nurture? determining the heritability of human striatal dopamine function: an [18F]-DOPA PET study. Neuropsychopharmacology aop Abstract

Howes, O. D., Kambeitz, J., Kim, E., Stahl, D., Slifstein, M., Abi-Dargham, A., Kapur, S., (2012). The nature of dopamine dysfunction in schizophrenia and what this means for treatment. Archives of general psychiatry 69 (8), 776-786. Abstract

Howes, O. D., Montgomery, A. J., Asselin, M.-C. C., Murray, R. M., Valli, I., Tabraham, P., Bramon-Bosch, E., Valmaggia, L., Johns, L., Broome, M., McGuire, P. K., Grasby, P. M. (2009). Elevated striatal dopamine function linked to prodromal signs of schizophrenia. Archives of General Psychiatry 66, 13–20. Abstract

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