My research focuses on subtle psychopathological changes and states that may mark the development of major mental illnesses in adolescents and young adults.
This research is part of the wider 'early intervention' paradigm where the goal is to both predict the onset of illness and detect disorder at the earliest stage to provide a window for therapeutic intervention. This may improve outcome, but also provides a means to prevent the disorder developing. Studying subtle changes in experiences, prior to diagnosis, also enables an understanding of pathophysiology and how disorders develop over time.
My work to date has largely focused on the 'at risk mental state' for psychosis, a collection of unusual experiences that may suggest an individual is at risk of developing a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia. We have used functional and structural neuroimaging, together with cognitive neuropsychology, to examine what makes such individuals at risk for psychosis, to improve prediction of who may go on to develop the disorder, and to gain a better understanding of psychological and brain changes that may underpin the onset of the disorder. I am also particularly interested in delusions and their formation and maintenance. More recently, I have been developing research into changes in mood regulation and stability, changes that may be early markers of mood or personality disorders, as well as the relationship between psychosis and autistic spectrum disorders.
BSc (Hons) MBChB (Hons) MRCPsych PGCAP PhD
Senior Clinical Research Fellow
- Consultant Psychiatrist
- Associate College Tutor, Oxfordshire
Research into the early detection of mental illness brings clear benefits as not only may new cases be prevented, but those who do develop the disorder yet are able to receive appropriate early treatment may have better clinical outcomes, including lower rates of admission and suicide, as well as greater function. Such an approach is not only clinically advantageous, but economically brings cost benefits to the NHS.
Current ongoing work involves collaborations with colleagues in the Department of Psychosis Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry using multi-modal imaging techniques to examine those at risk of developing psychosis, funded by the EU and the Wellcome Trust, and, with Stephen Wood in Birmingham, a new MRC-funded study looking at structural brain changes serially over time. Additionally, with Nick Dale at Warwick, I am working on developing a bedside technique of examining D- and L-Serine, a marker of the NMDA receptor function, dysfunction of which has been implicated in schizophrenia. Together with Steven Marwaha, we are beginning to pilot measures of mood instability in clinical populations with different diagnoses to try and determine whether the experience is the same in different disorders and continue our work examining mood instability in the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey.
Until 2012, I was Chair of the Philosophy Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and am part of the Maudsley Philosophy Group and have an active interest in the philosophy of psychiatry and neuroscience. I recently co-edited The Maudsley Reader in Phenomenological Psychiatry and have an ongoing programme of work examining delusions as well as responsibility in mental illness with Lisa Bortolotti at the University of Birmingham. I am one of the series editors for International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry and on the editorial board for the British Journal of Psychiatry.
Profile on Google Scholar here
Delusional ideation, manic symptomatology and working memory in a cohort at clinical high-risk for psychosis: a longitudinal study.
Broome MR. et al, (2012), Eur Psychiatry, 27, 258 - 263
Transition to psychosis associated with prefrontal and subcortical dysfunction in ultra high-risk individuals.
Allen P. et al, (2012), Schizophr Bull, 38, 1268 - 1276
What causes the onset of psychosis?
Broome MR. et al, (2005), Schizophr Res, 79, 23 - 34
Delusion formation and reasoning biases in those at clinical high risk for psychosis.
Broome MR. et al, (2007), Br J Psychiatry Suppl, 51, s38 - s42
Neural correlates of executive function and working memory in the 'at-risk mental state'.
Broome MR. et al, (2009), Br J Psychiatry, 194, 25 - 33
Are we really mapping psychosis risk? Neuroanatomical signature of affective disorders in subjects at ultra high risk
Modinos G. et al, (2014), Psychological Medicine
Mood instability and psychosis: analyses of British national survey data.
Marwaha S. et al, (2014), Schizophr Bull, 40, 269 - 277
Taking the long view: An emerging framework for translational psychiatric science
Fulford KWM. et al, (2014), World Psychiatry, 13, 110 - 117
How is affective instability defined and measured? A systematic review
Marwaha S. et al, (2014), Psychological Medicine, 44, 1793 - 1808
Spatial working memory ability in individuals at ultra high risk for psychosis
Goghari VM. et al, (2014), Journal of Psychiatric Research, 50, 100 - 105