CPFT are looking for those with experience of depression and/or memory difficulties!

We are looking for two experts by experience to review and provide feedback on the above study. It would be particularly useful if reviewers had lived experience of depression and/or memory difficulties (amnesia). The primary role will be to review the participant-facing study documents of the study to ensure these are clear and comprehensible. You will also be invited to provide your feedback on the study aims, objectives, methods and ppi/dissemination plans. Deadline is tight and feedback will need to be provided by 23rd January or earlier if possible.

Title: Neurocognitive mechanisms underlying dissociative amnesia

Project: Dissociative amnesia, also known as psychogenic amnesia, is a form of memory loss that has a psychological, rather than organic cause. The memory loss can be for specific, usually traumatic situations or events. More rarely, the memory loss can be much more extensive or ‘global’, in which the individual loses their memory for most or all of their life, and sometimes their sense of personal identity. The memory loss typically affects memory for personal information and events, whilst other aspects of memory and general cognitive function usually remain in-tact. Memories are usually recovered, though sometimes it can persist. Because these cases are so rare, the precise neurocognitive mechanisms underlying the memory loss are not well understood. A theoretical model based on combined clinical expertise and experimental findings has suggested that, in the context of a severe stress, depressed mood and previous experience of a mild head injury, frontal control mechanisms are engaged to ‘block’ or inhibit memory retrieval. A related body of experimental work in healthy adults has identified a network of brain regions that can be voluntarily engaged to inhibit memory retrieval. This ability to control memory retrieval is adaptive in many situations (e.g. ignoring distracting memories when trying to focus on work; stopping unhelpful rumination), it is possible that this network is over-engaged in dissociative amnesia. The present study will investigate the role of this memory control network in dissociative amnesia. We will combine thorough clinical and neuropsychological assessment, experimental memory tasks and advanced neuroimaging methods to precisely characterise the nature of any differences, relative to healthy controls.

Researcher: Laura Marsh, PhD student, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, UoC

Involvement: We would like individuals with lived experience of depression and/or memory difficulties (amnesia) to review participant-facing study documents to ensure these are clear and comprehensible. We would like to ask individuals to read over the documents and provide feedback (written, via a feedback form, or communicated verbally if preferred).  The documents will include the study invitation letter, participant information sheet and consent forms.  We will also send you the proposal to provide your views about the overall study. Because of the rare nature of dissociative amnesia, we do not intend to seek individuals with this particular condition. However, if possible it would be particularly helpful to receive feedback from individuals with amnesia of a neurological cause (e.g. hypoxia, head injury), or people currently experiencing depression.

Time commitment: 1-2.5 hrs to read the documents and provide feedback.

Payment: Members will receive £10 per hour for their time and contribution. Please note, this income may have implications for those claiming benefits. All income must be declared to the Inland Revenue.

Contact: If you are interested in this project please contact iliana.rokkou@cpft.nhs.uk as soon as possible.

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