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Prof Rob Howard
Wing A
6th Floor Maple House
149 Tottenham Court Road
Tel: 020 3549 5114
  • Professor of Old Age Psychiatry
  • Division of Psychiatry
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences

After undergraduate study at Cambridge and St Bartholomew's Hospital in London, I trained at the Maudsley and became Professor of Old Age Psychiatry and Psychopathology at King's College London in 2002. In 2015, I moved to the Division of Psychiatry at University College London.  

Research Summary

I work to develop and evaluate better treatments for people with dementia and for psychosis in older people by investigating the mechanisms of symptoms and through the conduct of independent clinical trials.

For example, our trials have shown the cognitive, functional and independent living benefits of continuing dementia drugs until the late stages of Alzheimer's disease (DOMINO) and of antipsychotic treatment in people with very late-onset schizophrenia-like psychosis (ATLAS). 

Current trials are investigating the potential AD-modifying potential of nilvadipine (NILVAD) and minocycline (MADE), whether technology provision can help people with dementia to remain safely in their own homes (ATTILA) and the effectiveness of problem-solving therapy in people with dementia who are depressed (PATHFINDER).

Work with Suzanne Reeves identifies ways in which psychosis in older people can be treated most effectively and safely through optimising the use of existing antipsychotics and investigating the potential of novel and repurposed agents. We're working with Emma McLachlan and Neil Burgess at the ICN to understand how dysfunction of the hippocampus and associated structures might underpin confabulation and delusion formation in AD. 

With Kathy Liu and Emrah Duzel and Dorothea Hammerer from the ICN/FIL we are imaging the structure and function of central noradrenergic pathways whose dysfunction might underlie the common and hard-to-treat agitation syndrome seen in people with AD.  

With Jon Huntley and Steve Fleming at the FIL we are investigating metacognitive deficits in people with early and late-stage AD and functional memory disorders to understand the basis of impaired awareness and how this might be treated. 

Anxiety disorders are the most difficult mental health problems to treat successfully in older people. With Becky Gould and colleagues, we are looking at Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for this and in people with MND. 

With Max Parmar and Louise Brown from the MRC-CTU and colleagues from around the UK and the Alzheimer's Society, we are working to develop the MARMALADE adaptive trial platform to most efficiently conduct phase 3 trials of repurposed drugs for disease modification in AD.

Teaching Summary

I am a committed and happy teacher and trainer within Psychiatry and was Dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists from 2008 to 2012. I lecture to undergraduates, MSc students, Psychiatry trainees and anyone who will listen.

If you are considering a career in Psychiatry, specialising in Old Age Psychiatry or contemplating an academic path and trying to find advice, support or supervision, please do make an appointment to talk to me.

Please report any queries concerning the data shown on this page to https://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/helpdesk/helpdesk_web_form.php
University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

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