Mental Health

Atlantia Food Clinical Trials has considerable experience in providing human clinical learning studies in mental health, in areas such as cognition, depression, stress, anxiety and mood across Europe. We can carry out human dietary intervention studies that look at various aspects of brain health, in accordance with EFSA guidelines on scientific requirements for validation of health claims related to neurological and psychological function (EFSA Journal, 2012;10(7):2816). We have extensive expertise in looking at brain development and health in a variety of populations such as healthy and elderly, in patient groups (with IBS, mild psychiatric illness or mild cognitive impairment) and the institutionalised elderly. We also have experience in food clinical trials and trials with different test products, from probiotics to short chain fatty acids.

We work with our clients to design a study most suitable for their products in accordance with EFSA guidelines, analysing peer-reviewed publications, agreeing the most suitable end-points and statistically powering studies to ensure that studies will meet requirements. We have an extensive database of healthy, elderly and IBS populations, and patients with mild mental health illness, to support volunteer recruitment for any trial type.

Through our close working relationship with psychiatrists, neuropharmacologists, gerontologists and geriatricians, we have comprehensive experience in many aspects of brain health:

  • Cognitive function studies- we use a standardised cognitive test battery (CANTAB), which can test memory, attention, alertness, problem solving.
  • We can assess maintenance of cognitive function or reduction in the rate of age-related cognitive decline in elderly populations, using CANTAB and validated clinical diagnosis tools
  • Cognitive development in children – age specific neurodevelopment tests
  • Memory – validated psychometric tests for working memory and implicit memory
  • Mood affects – variety of psychometric tests and validated questionnaires
  • Psychological stress – psychometric measures using validated scales, and changes in biological stress indicators (salivary and plasma cortisol, IgA, tryptophan, heart rate and sleep)
  • Anxiety – validated anxiety scales such as Hamilton anxiety rating scale, sleep quality etc.
  • IBS/visceral pain – inflammatory markers e.g. IL6, CRP
  • Depression – Hamilton depression scale, hospital anxiety and depression scale, Beck depression inventory
  • A variety of ecologically valid stress models are available e.g. Triere social stress test used in healthy volunteers