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New £4 Million Hub to Explore Link Between Metabolism and Mental Illness

Edinburgh Mental Health

1 Mar 2024

Professor Daniel Smith from the University of Edinburgh has been awarded £4 million by the Medical Research Council for a new Mental Health Hub – one of five new Hubs to be announced across the UK, as part of their flagship UKRI Mental Health Platform investment.

Metabolic psychiatry is a critical but under-researched area. People with severe mental illness have high rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes and increased mortality from cardiovascular disease – with a reduced life expectancy of at least 15 years. Recent research suggests that metabolic interventions may be therapeutic for SMI.

Filling an important gap in the current research landscape, the new MRC Hub for Metabolic Psychiatry in Edinburgh will place the UK at the forefront of future metabolic psychiatry research and innovation. Investigating mental illness from a ‘whole-body’ perspective, rather than focusing solely on the brain or psychological symptoms, it will explore the overlap between severe mental illness and metabolic conditions such as obesity and diabetes, with a view to developing and testing metabolism-based treatments for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and severe depression. It will also deliver an innovative programme of knowledge exchange led by people with lived experience of severe mental illness.

For more information about the Hub for Metabolic Psychiatry, including for a more detailed discussion of their workstreams and upcoming opportunities, please visit their website. You can also learn more about the UKRI's Mental Health Platform and its research hubs here.

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