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Mental health strategy of the Medical Research Council (UK) Opportunities for European engagement and a role of FEAM European Parliament 22 nd March 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Mental health strategy of the Medical Research Council (UK) Opportunities for European engagement and a role of FEAM European Parliament 22 nd March 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mental health strategy of the Medical Research Council (UK) Opportunities for European engagement and a role of FEAM European Parliament 22 nd March 2011

2 Its work, on behalf of the UK taxpayer, ranges from molecular level science to public health medicine and understanding of the human body in health and disease. Publicly funded, the Medical Research Council is dedicated to improving human health through the best scientific research. Medical Research Council (UK)

3 MRC Mission statement Encourage and support high-quality research with the aim of improving human health Produce skilled researchers; advance and disseminate knowledge and technology to improve the quality of life and economic competitiveness in the UK Promote dialogue with the public about medical research

4 MRC current investment in mental health research MRC operating expenditure - £728.8m in 08/ grants Neurosciences and mental health £141.5m, 20% of total Mental health and underpinning £40m, 6% of total £25m disease focused, 3% of total Same % spend as most international funders Burden of mental health, 15% by QALYs Award rate for mh grants same as other fields Evidence that MRC committed to field but capacity is low

5 Mental health review Sahakian BJ, Malloch GD and Kennard CK The Lancet, Volume 375, pp , 29 May 2010

6 led by MRC for all UK public fenders considered strengths and weaknesses of UK research & advised on research opportunities & tractable priorities not addressed explicitly dementia Conclusions included - Exploit and enhance UK strengths - promotion of preventive strategies through population science and develop therapy: through experimental medicine stratified medicine by exploiting excellent neuroscience on knowledge of traits (inattention, impulsivity, aggression) to cut across diagnostic problems and address heterogeneity and co-morbidity Mental health review

7 Implementation by MRC MRC plans to invest £8m (with partners) in strategic funding over next three years. The initiatives will be in the following areas: experimental medicine (pump-prime (£3m), build capacity and enhance use of existing schemes) a mental health research capacity building strategy that will involve amongst other things a flagship Clinical Graduate Research Training Scheme (£2.2m) call for funding data sharing/secondary analysis - linking data from different cohorts to study aetiology of mental illness & wellbeing work to scope and target the focus on a call for a new cohort in the general area of neurodevelopmental disorders

8 New managed programme for Experimental Medicine in mental health Not currently live but those interested in participating invited to engage in managed process leading to a call for fudning (£3m). The aim will be to foster innovative research undertaken in humans to provide mechanistic insight of interventions new biomarkers stratified approaches (sub-dividing clinical diagnoses by biologically-based traits)

9 Population based research approaches to the aetiology of mental health Not currently live Plan to launch data sharing and data analysis Initiative later in 2011 on MRC web site Scope prospects for new cohort looking at the decelopment of adolescent mental health proibelms. The aim will be to foster innovative research that Makes best use of exsigint infrastructure and resources Fills gaps in existing knowledge, infrastructure and resources Informs on the clinical validation/qualification of diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers as- predictors of illness, stage of illness, treatment selection, treatment outcome, and/or remission

10 How can pan-European approach add value? Sharing data – opening up cohorts and related studies to data linkage and analysis through policy-based initiatives. Address co-morbidity addiction childhood and adolescence Encouraging consortia – combining expertise and involving industry for treatments and interventions Specific example – the E-Risk study design (Arsenault and Moffitt) ideally suited for testing protective factors that modify risk. but it is necessary first to document the risk factors that predict health outcome e.g. on violence exposure Europe well placed to test such predictions - results of such work could suggest new targeted interventions in early life to reduce the burden of chronic adult disease

11 How could FEAM and the National Academies help in furthering these objectives? Keep on with the good work! FEAM and UK Academy of Medical Science already making progress in this area Address stigma Disseminate the research opportunities MRC willing to work with FEAM and EU partners wherever there is tractable opportunity for major inroads into our strategic aims


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