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Professor Declan Mc Loughlin

Research Professor of Psychiatry (Psychiatry)

Research Professor of Psychiatry (Trinity Inst. of Neurosciences (TCIN))

Declan M McLoughlin PhD MRCPI MRCPsych FTCD is Research Professor of Psychiatry in St Patrick's University Hospital and Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He qualified in Medicine from University College Dublin in 1986. After training in general medicine, he trained in Psychiatry, firstly in Dublin and then at the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry (IOP) in London. He obtained an Alzheimer's Society Training Fellowship (1994-1997) in the Dept of Neuroscience at the IOP, followed by a Wellcome Advanced Fellowship (1997-2000), during which time he was awarded a PhD in Molecular Neuroscience for his work on Alzheimer's disease APP-interacting proteins. After this he was appointed as a clinical Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry in the Maudsley Hospital. In 2007 he took up the new post of Research Professor of Psychiatry in Trinity College Dublin and St Patrick's University Hospital, where he is also a consultant in Old Age Psychiatry. Recent research activities include: randomised controlled trials of ECT (EFFECT-Dep Study) and ketamine (KEEP-WELL, KARMA-Dep, KARMA-Dep 2) in severe depression; systematic reviews and meta-analyses; molecular biomarkers (e.g. mRNA, miRNA, telomere length) for depression; molecular mechanisms of action of ECT; and studies on the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the well-being of health care workers (COWORKER). His work has been supported by the Alzheimer's Society, Wellcome Trust, NHS Health Technology Assessment Programme, NARSAD, and the Health Research Board.
Celine A. Fox, Declan M. McLoughlin, Speed of electroconvulsive therapy for depression: Effects of electrode placement, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 2021, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Ryan KM, Allers KA, McLoughlin DM, Harkin A., Tryptophan metabolite concentrations in depressed patients before and after electroconvulsive therapy., Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 83, 2020, p153 - 162, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Bronagh Gallagher, Meabh Foley, Claire M. Slattery, Gabriele Gusciute, Enda Shanahan, Declan M. McLoughlin, Ketamine as an adjunctive therapy for major depression - a randomised controlled pragmatic pilot trial (Karma-Dep Trial), HRB Open Research, 3, 2020, p90 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Short B, Dong V, Gálvez V, Vulovic V, Martin D, Bayes AJ, Zarate CA, Murrough JW, McLoughlin DM, Riva-Posse P, Schoevers R, Fraguas R, Glue P, Fam J, McShane R, Loo CK., Development of the Ketamine Side Effect Tool (KSET)., Journal of affective disorders, 266, 2020, p615-620 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Alexander L, Kelly L, Doody E, Brady S, Roddy D, Counihan E, Delaney L, McLoughlin D, Malone K., Over the Cuckoo's Nest: Does Experiencing Electroconvulsive Therapy Change Your Mind? A Mixed Methods Study of Attitudes and Impact of Electroconvulsive Therapy on Patients and Their Relatives., The journal of ECT, 36, (3), 2020, p172-179 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Colbert SA, McCarron S, Ryan G, McLoughlin DM., Immediate Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 on Electroconvulsive Therapy Practice., The journal of ECT, 36, (2), 2020, p86-87 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
McGrory CL, Ryan KM, Gallagher B, McLoughlin DM., Vascular endothelial growth factor and pigment epithelial-derived factor in the peripheral response to ketamine., Journal of affective disorders, 273, 2020, p380-383 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Thekiso TB, McLoughlin DM, Hartnett Y, Casey S, Orji A, Heron EA, Rush G, Kennedy N., Outcome of First-admission Depression Treated in a Specialized Mood Disorders Service., Journal of psychiatric practice, 26, (6), 2020, p461-471 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Andrew Harkin, Declan M. McLoughlin, Ketamine and depression: A special kase for kynurenic acid?, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 2019, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Karen M. Ryan, Declan M. McLoughlin, Peripheral blood GILZ mRNA levels in depression and following electroconvulsive therapy, Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2019, Journal Article, PUBLISHED

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Semkovska M, McLoughlin DM , Retrograde autobiographical amnesia following ECT: on the difficulty of finding the baby and clearing murky bathwater, J ECT, 30, (3), 2014, p187 - 188, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Dunne RA, McLoughlin DM, Physical treatments, Medicine , 40, 2012, p672 - 673, Notes: [ ], Journal Article, PUBLISHED
McLoughlin, DM, Vagus rules still apply., Psychological Medicine, 38, (5), 2008, p625 - 627, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
McLoughlin, DM, Review: repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation is of unknown effectiveness in people with depression., Evidence-Based Mental Health, 6, (4), 2003, p118 - 118, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Lovestone S, McLoughlin D., Alzheimer's disease: molecular biology and the quest for a treatment. , Care of the Elderly, 6, 1994, p149-152 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Cigeroglu YB, McLoughlin D., Psychotherapy training in Turkey, 1994, - 650-651, Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED


I have been investigating the neuronal signalling function of the Alzheimer's disease amyloid precursor protein (APP) and was among the first to identify the FE65 and X11 adaptor proteins as APPbinding partners. To study their functions in vivo, we have made X11 transgenic mice and have demonstrated that the X11s regulate APP processing and reduce cerebral Ab production and deposition. The neuronal X11 proteins are therefore novel therapeutic targets for Alzheimer's disease. I am now leading a research group studying behavioural and electrophysiological effects of X11- mediated reduction in cerebral Ab in an Alzheimer's animal model. On the clinical side, I have also been leading randomised controlled trials of therapeutic neuromodulation techniques (e.g. transcranial magnetic stimulation, electroconvulsive therapy) for neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. In St Patrick's Hospital and TCD, we are about to start a 5-year research programme called the EFFECT-Dep Study (enhancing the effectiveness of electroconvulsive therapy in severe depression and understanding its molecular mechanism of action). This programme is supported by a HRB Translational Research Award and its purpose is to improve ECT practice and use it to interrogate the molecular neurobiology of depression. We will carry out a definitive randomised controlled trial comparing bilateral and high-dose unilateral ECT, recruiting 140 patients with severe depression. We will also use an animal model of ECT treatment to characterise changes in global protein expression (i.e. the proteome) in both brain and blood plasma and also carry out similar studies using plasma from depressed patients recruited into the clinical trial. The results of these studies will improve clinical ECT and also help us understand better the molecular mechanism of action of ECT, as well as antidepressant drugs, and lead to identification of candidate peripheral biomarkers for depression, treatment response and depression relapse.