Current Studies

Please see the below a list of research studies to which we are currently recruiting.  If you are interested in becoming involved in any of the studies please contact the Research Team on 01278 432039 or by e-mail

SPT220 - The cap-mem study

Cap Mem: exploring the cause and prevalence of memory problems in people with mental health, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Anyone can take part regardless of whether they have any of these conditions or not.

Click here to view the Participant Information Sheet and click here to complete the online survey which takes no more than five minutes and tick Somerset Partnership as the NHS trust at the end.

SPT062 - Brains for Dementia

Brains for Dementia Research is a project of planned brain donation, with informal interview style assessments of memory, thinking, behaviour and activities of daily living at 2 to 5 year intervals for those without a diagnosis of dementia aged over 65, and every year for those with a diagnosis of dementia. Donated brain tissue and clinical data is then available to researchers working in the field of dementia.  For more information about this study please visit: 

SPT072 - DPIM: DNA Polymorphisms in Mental Illness

The research project is trying to find out the genetic and other causes of mental illness. We intend to study the serum in blood for immune and any other causes of mental illness and to study the DNA in blood for genetic causes of mental illness. DNA is the genetic material that determines how proteins are made in the body and is the material passed on from parents to children determining inherited traits such as eye colour and hair colour. DNA is a long chain of chemicals which can change in sequence. A DNA polymorphism or mutation is a variation in the DNA chemical sequence that someone has inherited from their parents or has occurred spontaneously. These variations may influence the way the DNA affects the body such as increasing the risk for a disease.

For more information please click here

SPT117 - Narratives of health and illness for Healthtalkonline

The purpose of the research is to

  • find out what is important to people faced with different health issues
  • contribute to and websites which are run by the DIPEx charity
  • conduct ‘market testing’ focus groups with pre-launch versions of the websites
  • develop other support and information resources for people
  • train health and social care professionals
  • write research papers

SPT132 - Molecular Genetics of Adverse Drug Reactions

There is some evidence to suggest that side effects to some drugs may be determined by our genes (the basic building blocks of life).  It is likely that more than one gene is going to be responsible.  The purpose of this study is to identify some of these genes.  We plan to look at a number of genes (including those responsible for enzymes responsible for breakdown of drugs, and those responsible for determining immune responses).  As we do not know what genes are involved in toxic reactions to drugs, we have to test for many genes to identify the ones that may be important.  We require your permission to be able to do this.

For more information please click here


The aim of the study is to provide a clinical protocol that will Predict Language Outcome and Recovery After Stroke (PLORAS). The system we are developing takes a structural brain image of a new participant with language difficulties (aphasia) and produces probabilistic estimates of long term outcome, based on whether, when, and in what respects, other participants with “matching” lesions recovered their speech and language abilities

For more information please click here

SPT177 - Adult Autism Spectrum 

Learning about the lives of adults on the autism spectrum and their relatives

This project is about engaging adults on the autism spectrum and their relatives in research.

At least 1% of adults are on the autism spectrum. However, very little research has been undertaken into the life experiences of adults and older people on the autism spectrum, and how these can be improved.

To address this significant research gap, in January 2015, we began a research programme about the life experiences of adults on the autism spectrum and their relatives/carers. This project is being led by Newcastle University researchers, and funded by the research charity Autistica. 

The inclusion criteria for this study is:  

  • Patients in the study who are aged over 16 years and have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, both with capacity and without capacity (carers can consent on behalf of those without capacity)
  • Carers of participants who have Autism Spectrum Disorder/ Asperger’s

For more information please visit The Autism Spectrum's website.

You can download the promotional poster for this study by clicking on the link.

SPT179 – AD Genetics

This research aims to try and understand more about how certain genes affect the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  So far over 3000 people have helped with this research and as a result many previously unknown genes that are involved in Alzheimer’s disease have been discovered. Individuals with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease are now being invited to help with this research, which is the largest currently undertaken on Alzheimer's disease and will hopefully lead to new treatments and methods of diagnosis in the future.

For more information please click here

SPT191 - Safetxt: a randomised controlled trial of a safer sex intervention

This study is looking to see if text messages can help people avoid sexually transmitted infections.

SPT206 -Prevalence of Pathogenic Antibodies in Psychiatric Illness (PPiP)

The study aims to understand if some cases of psychiatric illness are caused by immune system problems in some people.