Neurodivergent Brain-Body Clinic
The Neurodivergent Brain-Body Research Clinic takes place within our neurodivergent clinical service to provide and evaluate evidence-informed targeted interventions to improve both physical and mental health for neurodivergent people in Sussex.
The research is conducted by clinic leads and their collaborators: Dr Jessica Eccles, Professor Hugo Critchley and Rebecca Simmons.
Neurodevelopmental conditions affect up to 10% of the population and include:
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Tourette syndrome, contributing to neurodivergence.
Our Neurodevelopmental service assesses around 700 people a year, the majority of who are confirmed as neurodivergent. Neurodivergent people, who think and see the world differently, have the potential to bring huge value and diversity of thinking to society, but also face a complex and overlapping set of challenges.
There's increasing awareness of the negative psychosocial expression(s) of neurodevelopmental conditions (including anxiety, inattention, impulsivity, emotional problems, social communication differences and/or disordered eating). Yet physical problems experienced by neurodivergent individuals (including sensory processing abnormalities, heightened pain, fatigue, or dermatological, immunological, respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders) are extremely common.
Treatments include the use and evaluation of interoceptive training to improve both physical and mental health symptoms, e.g. treatments derived from Aligning Dimensions of Interoceptive Experience (AIDE) and ADAPT, the first ever clinical trials of interoceptive based therapy for both autism and hypermobility.
The clinic will also use and evaluate ‘repurposed’ pharmacological agents and supplements (e.g. propranolol, bupropion, vitamin D, magnesium) for both physical and mental health symptoms including fatigue, pain and emotional regulation.
Neurodivergent individuals associated with the Neurodevelopmental Service in Sussex Partnership can access the clinic.
ADIE: Testing if a new therapy could help prevent people with autism from developing anxiety disorders. It works by helping people to manage the stress they feel in response to unexpected physical changes, like an increase in their heart rate, and provides ways for them to better judge these.
ADAPT: Testing potential non-drug therapies for anxiety in people with hypermobility.
Neurodivergent people are more likely to experience pain, due to hypermobility
Having hypermobile joints can increase the risk for depression and anxiety in adolescents
Brain Fog in PoTS and long Covid: Causes and management
What is the link between joint hypermobility and anxiety?
Fatigue, Anxiety and Trauma
Our Lived Experience Advisory Panel helps to shape the research of the clinic. If you'd like to get involved, please email us: involvementinresearch