HC Deb 17 November 1958 vol 595 cc96-9W
43. Dr. D. Johnson

asked the Minister of Health, as representing the Lord President of the Council, what projects of research the Medical Research Council is sponsoring in the sphere of mental health; and where these are taking place.

2. Mr. Walker-Smith

Following is the information:

Research by Medical Research Council Units and Groups:

Clinical Psychiatry Research Unit, Graylingwell Hospital, Chichester

Studies of mental breakdown in patients from a New Town; of the social and family factors influencing schizophrenic delusions; of neuroticism in medical and surgical outpatients; of muscle tension and tremor in the mentally ill; and of an alleged "toxic factor" in schizophrenic blood.

Social Psychiatry Research Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, Maudsley Hospital, London

An investigation into the rehabilitation of chronic mental hospital patients and of their employment in hospital work-shops; studies of their capabilities and powers of adaptation when discharged and when at work; and research into ways of helping mentally defective patients to overcome their disability; studies of the incidence of chronic mental illness in two populations (rural and industrial) and the attitudes of the community towards it.

Neuropsychiatric Research Unit, Whit-church Hospital, Cardiff

A comparison of the metabolism of schizophrenic patients and that of normal persons; detailed investigation of the biochemistry of different parts of the brain and of the effect on this of electrical shock treatment and drugs; examination of the metabolic changes which occur as the brain matures; and a study of the distribution in the community of various personality characteristics.

Neuropharmacology Research Group, University of Birmingham

An investigation of the changes in the electrical activity of the brain in mental illness as shown on the electroencephalograph and other apparatus, and of the effects on this electrical activity of drugs used in treatment.

Group for the Experimental Investigation of Behaviour, University College, London

A study of behaviour changes after the experimental administration of drugs causing sedation or hallucinations.

National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill

Experimental work in relation to cerebral function; a detailed study of 5-hydroxytryptamine or "serotonin", a naturally-occurring chemical compound in the body, which may play an important part in the function of the brain.

Social Medicine Research Unit, London Hospital

Surveys of the social and family background of schizophrenic patients.

Clinical Genetics Research Unit, Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London

The genetics of mongolism.

Neurological Research Unit, National Hospital, Queen Square, London

Work on localised abnormalities in the brain causing epileptic attacks and on the effects of hemispherectomy (removal of part of the brain) in infantile epilepsy.

Industrial Psychology Research Unit, University College, London; Applied Psychology Research Unit, University of Cambridge; Group for Research on Occupational Aspects of Ageing, University of Liverpool

These three Units are working on various problems in the field of applied psychology in industry (e.g., absenteeism); on aspects of psychology which are of interest to the Services (e.g., the effects of noise); and on the psychological effects of ageing.

Research by individual members of the Council's external staff or aided by grants, fellowships and scholarships awarded by the Council:

Department of the Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford, and local mental hospitals

A programme of "screening" large numbers of patients in the acute stage of mental illness, particularly acute schizophrenia, for abnormal substances in the blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid.

Runwell Hospital, Essex

A survey of post-mortem findings in psychiatric patients; a long-term clinical study of schizophrenic and paranoid states; the relation between activity of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and nervous tension; the metabolism of acetylmethylcarbinol, the blood levels of which may be abnormal during manicdepressive attacks, and of cate-cholamines and 5-hydroxytryptamine in periodic catatonic schizophrenia.

Department of Pharmacology, University of Edinburgh

The measurement of adrenaline and noradrenaline levels in mental hospital patients.

Institute of Psychiatry and Maudsley Hospital, London (Various Departments)

The identification of substances which can affect the function of the brain by passing from the bloodstream into cerebral tissues and vice versa; changes in inorganic chemical compounds in the body during mental illness; the identification of phosphates which may break down in cerebral tissues; the effect of localised electrical stimulation to the hypothalamic part of the brain, damage to which may cause changes in behaviour and in emotional reactions; the relation of maternal age of mentally ill patients at the time of their birth to the incidence of mental illness; studies of processes of motivation and learning in chronic schizophrenics; of slowness of psychological function in psychiatric patients; of personality factors influencing behaviour and performance under stress; of perception and action in schizophrenic patients; surveys of epilepsy in general practice and its surgical treatment in hospital; and of the genetic aspects of mental illness in twins.

Marlborough Day Hospital and Department of Psychology, Maudsley Hospital, London

An experiment in treatment—the establishment of a "therapeutic hostel" for psychiatric patients.

National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Queen Square, London

Clinical studies of the effects of leucotomy.

Horton Hospital, Epsom, and St. Bernard's Hospital, Southall

A survey of the fertility of mentally ill patients.

Student Health Association, University College London

Mental disorders among students.

Psychological Laboratory, University of Sheffield and Rampton Hospital

Recidivism in psychopaths.

Department of Experimental Pathology, University of Birmingham

An investigation of the value of low-phenylalamine diets in the treatment of certain mentally deficient children.

School of Pharmacy, London and Department of Pharmacology, University College, London

Pharmacology of "tranquillising" drugs.

Department of Physiology, University of Oxford and Department of Psychology, University College, London

Effect of extreme lowering of temperature (hypothermia) on behaviour and thought.

Department of Psychiatry, King's College, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Depressive states and the electroencephalographic findings of this type of illness.

Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Belfast

Problems of language and thinking in cases of brain injury and schizophrenia.

The Psychological Laboratory, University of Cambridge

Disorders of visual perception in anxiety states and schizophrenia.

Department of Social Medicine, University of Edinburgh

An investigation of the prevalence and social consequences of maladjustment and delinquency in school-children.

Warneford Hospital, Oxford

Studies of physique in relation to mental illness.

Department of Pharmacology, Royal College of Surgeons, London

A study of drugs acting on the central nervous system, with special reference to those used in psychiatry.

National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, U.S.A. (Travelling Fellowship)

Sexual behaviour related to changes in hormone levels.

Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique, Paris (French Exchange Scholarship)

The action of narcotic drugs on the brain.

Hospital Ste Anne, Paris (French Exchange Scholarship)

Studies of language and thought development in children.

Forward to