Precision Psychiatry Continuity Clinic Project

Unique First-in-the-Nation Study Brings Neuroscience Assessments into the Clinic

Project Overview

In the last 20 years there have been incredible advances in human neuroscience, many of them due to groundbreaking research done right here at Stanford. Now, a unique collaboration between researchers, educators, and clinicians in the Stanford Psychiatry Department is beginning to bring these advances into clinical care. This study, the first of its kind in the nation, is coordinated by the PanLab and led by Drs. Leanne Williams and Tali Ball. Patients entering the department’s Continuity Clinic will be offered a thorough assessment of symptoms, cognition, genetics, and brain circuit functioning. For 50% of participating patients, information from their assessment is provided to their doctor prior to the first appointment. The remaining patients receive the information 12 weeks later, to allow the research team to test the impact of receiving information from neuroscience assessments relative to usual care. The research team also provides advanced training in neuroscience models and their applicability to clinical care to the PGY3 psychiatry residents rotating in the clinic. This study establishes Stanford as a national leader in neuroscience-informed psychiatry in both training and practice.

Project Goals

1.        Understand the logistics of integrating neuroscience assessments with regular clinic flow

2.        Gather preliminary data on the impact of providing neuroscience assessment feedback to psychiatrists about their patients

3.        Iterate the neuroscience biotype model and neuroscience feedback reports

Enhanced Neuroscience Assessment

All participant's in the Precision Psychiatry Continuity Clinic study complete an enhanced neuroscience assessment, the results of which are then shared with their psychiatrists (either before the patient's first appointment with their psychiatrist, or after the patient's participation in the study is over 12 weeks later). This assessment consists of four components:

  1. Neuroimaging to assess brain circuit functioning relevant to emotion and emotion regulation
  2. Behavioral measures to assess cognitive abilities such as memory, attention, and problem solving
  3. Clinical measures to assess symptoms, coping style, and quality of life
  4. Genotyping to assess common genetic variations that relate to how the body processes psychiatric medications