Body & Mind in Chronic Inflammation

A new project has been launched aimed at improving physical and mental health aspects associated with chronic inflammation.

A new project, Body & Mind in Chronic Inflammation funded by the King’s Together Strategic Award, is aiming to improve physical and mental health aspects associated with chronic inflammation. The project’s ambition is to create a strong interdisciplinary research network at King’s College London that will bring together research and clinical excellence in inflammation biology, neuroscience and mental health. The project is coordinated by Professor Leonie Taams, Professor Carmine Pariante and Dr Franziska Denk from King’s College London.Research 2

The overall objective is to create long-term and highly productive interactions between patient representatives, basic scientists and clinicians to accelerate research and enable innovative approaches into improving care for both the mind and body in cases of chronic inflammation. This will address a major clinical need and significantly improve patients’ quality of life.

In the short-term, the network will build a platform to drive world-leading interdisciplinary research in body and mind in chronic inflammation. So far, a multidisciplinary workshop has been held identifying ambitious research questions and the network is currently in the process of starting to generate preliminary evidence for these questions. Following this, the network plan to apply for a large collaborative award and project or programme grant funding.

In the long-term, this network will equip early career researchers with the knowledge, technical skills and networks to address challenging interdisciplinary research questions regarding physical and mental health issues related to chronic inflammation, whilst also considering patients’ perspectives and the importance of public engagement.

Currently, the award is supporting three pilot projects, Pain Research in Inflammatory Disease (PRIDE), Early adversity, and Inflammation and depression.

PRIDE, led by Professor Leonie Taams, Dr Heidi Lempp and Dr Franziska Denk examines pain in long-term inflammatory conditions. Chronic pain affects both body and mind and a better understanding of what drives pain could eventually result in novel clinical strategies to alleviate pain, thus improving both physical and mental health.

Early adversity, led by Dr Valeria Mondelli and Dr Anthony Vernon aims to identify immunological features and mechanisms associated with early traumatic events which have been associated with immune alterations.

Inflammation and depression, led by Dr Nick Powell and Dr Bu Hayee looks to examine the link between chronic inflammation, anxiety and depression in the context of inflammatory bowel disease. Specifically, the network will investigate whether therapeutic intervention using specific inhibitors of immune activity, impacts on mental health.  

The King’s Health Partners Mind & Body programme is committed to joining up mental and physical healthcare, training and research to improve health outcomes for our patients and service users.

Find out more about King’s Together.