This week on MIA Radio, we interview Professor Sir Robin Murray. Professor Murray is an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in the Psychosis Service located at the Bethlem Royal Hospital in South London. He is also a Professor of Psychiatric Research at the Institute of Psychiatry. His research covers epidemiology, molecular genetics, neuropsychiatry, neuroimaging, neuropsychology and neuropharmacology.
Professor Murray’s main research interest is finding the causes of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, as well as developing better treatments for these disorders. He is perhaps best known for helping to establish the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia, and for his work on the environmental risk factors relating to schizophrenia, such as obstetric events and cannabis use.
In 2011, Professor Murray was awarded a knighthood for services to medicine and he is the second most widely cited psychiatrist in the world outside the USA.
In this interview we discuss:
- How Professor Murray came to psychiatry and what sparked his interest in research into psychosis.
- Professor Murray’s work to counter the concept of schizophrenia as a debilitating brain disease and how we came to appreciate the many factors that may contribute to psychotic illness.
- The importance of recognising the influence of social factors in the causes of psychotic illness.
- The differences between the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM V) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD 11).
- How psychiatric diagnoses compare and contrast to diagnoses in other branches of medicine.
- The question of whether schizophrenia is a real entity or purely an artificial construct.
- How antipsychotic drugs exert their effects and the mechanisms by which they may lead, in some cases, to dopamine supersensitivity.
- How we should be cautious about the long-term prescribing of antipsychotic drugs.
- The effect that limited healthcare resources have on psychiatric diagnoses and treatments.
- What the future may hold for research into and treatment options for psychosis.
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