Mood Disorders

About

Mood disorders, also known as affective disorders, are a group of illnesses characterised by changes in emotion to the extent that this impacts upon functioning. Included in this group are: major depression, bipolar disorder and depression that occurs post-partum. Suicide often occurs in the context of mood disorders and therefore forms part of this group.

Current Research Projects

Current projects in Mood Disorders involving members of the Discipline are listed below.

Project
Researchers

Identifying mood disorder subtypes

  • Prof Malhi and Drs Lampe, Morgan and Coulston, based at Royal North Shore Hospital, are engaged in sub-typing mood disorders on the basis of phenomenology, neuropsychology and treatment characteristics. More information is available at www.cadeclinic.com

Gin Malhi

Lisa Lampe

Carissa Coulston

Hugh Morgan

Differentiating Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder

  • Prof Malhi and Dr Coulston are conducting a detailed clinical study to identify the neurocognitive profile of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. The study aims to develop better diagnostic tools and prognostic indicators.

Gin Malhi

Carissa Coulston

Bipolar relapse following childbirth

  • Prof Boyce and his team, based at Westmead Hospital, are conducting an online survey of women suffering from bipolar disorder to identify the rates of relapse in the month following childbirth.
Philip Boyce

Predicating bipolar relapse following childbirth

  • Prof Boyce and his team at the perinatal psychiatry clinic are examining psychosocial factors and changes to the sleep/wake cycle that will predict a bipolar relapse in the month following childbirth.

Philip Boyce

Anthony Harris

Partitioning Mood Disorders using fMRI

  • Prof Malhi and Drs Das and Coulston are conducting a functional MRI study at the Advanced Research Clinical High-field Imaging (ARCHI) facility – based at Royal North Shore Hospital. Using sophisticated and complex systems of analysis, the project is identifying neural patterns of response that separate the phenotypes bipolar I disorder and major depression.

Gin Malhi

Pritha Das

Carissa Coulston

Withdrawal from antidepressant medication

  • Prof Boyce is assessing what symptoms return following withdrawal from SSRI medications to understand the differences between relapse and return on normal emotion.
Philip Boyce

Determining the effects of N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) on Brain function

  • Using proton spectroscopy Prof Malhi and Dr Das are investigating the effect of NAC in major depression and bipolar disorder. This ground breaking research is detecting changes in metabolites using single-voxel proton spectroscopy. The study is being conducted at ARCHI in collaboration with University of Melbourne researchers.

Gin Malhi

Pritha Das

Characterising the neural effects of psychotropic medications

  • Using functional MRI and proton spectroscopy, Prof Malhi and Drs Das and Coulston are investigating the neural effects of psychotropic agents including antipsychotics and mood stabilisers. 

Gin Malhi

Pritha Das

Carissa Coulston

Comparison of antidepressant and cognitive effects between ultra-brief and brief pulse ECT in depression

  • Using a randomised controlled trial of applying variable ECT pulse width and stimulus dose, Drs Mayur and Bray and A/Prof Harris are comparing the antidepressant and cognitive effects of ultra-brief and brief pulse ECT in depression. The measures of MADRS and Autobiographical Memory are taken at the end of an acute course of treatment and then three months later.

 

Prashanth Mayur

Anthony Harris

Amanda Bray

Researchers

Discipline members with an interest in Mood Disorders are: