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I trained as a clinical psychologist in 1982 and since that time have worked as a clinician researcher, mostly researching Parkinson’s disease. I worked first at the Institute of Psychiatry in the Department of Neurology under Professor David Marden, followed by 10 years at the Medical Research Council’s Human Movement and Balance Unit, attached to the National Hospital in London, before returning to the Institute of Psychiatry in 1998, where I now lead the Department of Psychology.
My research has covered a wide range of aspects of Parkinson’s disease – cognitive and movement problems, anxiety, depression and other psychological problems, in both people with Parkinson’s and their partners. I am currently investigating the role of attention processes in anxiety in Parkinson’s disease, which includes exploring the use of brief and effective psychological interventions for the disease.
2012 Head of Department for Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry Psychology and Neuroscience, Kings College London, UK
2006 Professor of Neuropsychology and Clinical Neuroscience, Kings College London, UK
2000 Reader in Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, UK
1998 Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, UK
1988 Senior non-clinical Scientist, Medical Research Council, Human Movement and Balance Unit (tenure awarded 1994)
1982 Research Psychologist, Department of Neurology, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
PhD Psychology, University of London, UK
MPhil Clinical Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, UK
BA Hons Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, UK
Recent work, supported by NIHR and Parkinson’s UK, has included a major prospective study of a cohort of over 500 patients with Parkinson’s disease followed over a 4-year period. This study provided has evidence for the heterogeneity of affective (mood) disturbance in Parkinson’s disease, and associations with distinctive patterns of individual and disease-related features. The study has also highlighted the prevalence and potentially central role of anxiety-related symptoms in Parkinson’s disease distress.
A recent analysis of the 4-year data points to the stability of the affective profile in this cohort indicating that anxiety, and associated depressive symptoms remain chronic, despite increasing recognition and treatment with antidepressant and anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) medication. The research points to the need for more targeted approaches to treatment based on clinical presentation and incorporating both pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods. Current research is examining the potential value of attention-bias modification to reduce anxiety and metacognitive approaches to reduce distress associated with maladaptive beliefs.