Despite general improvements in many areas of population health, approaches to mental health have remained static in recent years.
With exciting progress being made in beginning to understand the underlying mechanisms and processes for mental health, there is a significant opportunity to improve outcomes for patients with mental health disorders by taking a more personalised approach to psychiatry.
The Academy today published a FORUM meeting report on personalised psychiatry, held on 6 September 2017. The report can be downloaded from the righthand side of the page. The workshop discussions centred around recent advances in scientific understanding of mental health conditions, what we should be measuring in mental health, the infrastructure needed to deliver personalised psychiatry and ways to drive adoption of this approach.
The meeting chair, Professor Ed Bullmore FMedSci, Vice President of ImmunoPsychiatry, GlaxoSmithKline, and Head of Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, said:
“Personalised psychiatry sums up the ambition of many clinicians and scientists to move beyond the traditional diagnostic labels like depression, psychosis and autism, to find new ways of understanding and treating patients with these and other mental health disorders.
“The aim is to use rapidly emerging developments in the genetics, neuroscience and medicine of mental health, combined with our current understanding of social and environmental factors, to identify more precisely which patients are most likely to benefit from new treatments that target specific causes of a disorder.
“The meeting highlighted how recent scientific advances make such personalised psychiatry increasingly tractable, it identified some immediate opportunities to translate new science into a change in practice, and articulated some of the longer-term challenges we will need to address. Ultimately, the event crystallised what an exciting moment this is on the journey to a more personalised psychiatry.
“To deliver a radically new approach to treatment is an important challenge to the whole field of mental health research, and this meeting report summarises the views of many of the UK’s academic, NHS and industry leaders about the way forward.”
This event follows on from a series of joint meetings held by the Academy and NHS England to explore adoption of a stratified approach across the NHS, with three previous meetings focusing on diabetes, cardiovascular disease and severe asthma.
The Academy of Medical Sciences’ FORUM was established in 2003 to catalyse connections across industry, academia and the healthcare sector. Since then, a range of FORUM activities and events have brought together researchers, research funders and research users from across academia, industry, government, and the charity, healthcare and regulatory sectors. Further information and details of future events can be found on the FORUM homepage.