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Helen Collins

BA MSc


DPhil Student

Biography

I completed my BA in Cells and Systems Biology at Oxford in 2018, majoring in Cardiovascular, Renal and Respiratory Physiology and minoring in Neuroscience. Last year I completed the MSc in Neuroscience, conducting research projects in the Emptage and Sharp labs.

Research

I am in the first year of my DPhil, studying the behavioural and neurophysiological effects of SSRI discontinuation. Recent publications suggest that up to half of patients discontinuing an SSRI antidepressant will experience withdrawal symptoms, for example nausea, dizziness, anxiety and sleep disturbances. Despite much clinical and anecdotal evidence of SSRI discontinuation syndrome, there are vanishingly few preclinical studies of the condition.

I am currently working on optimising a mouse model of SSRI discontinuation, as well as identifying key behavioural tests that can be used to establish its presence. I am also using molecular techniques to investigate the underlying neurobiological changes occurring following discontinuation that may contribute to the symptoms. I hope to go on to use in vivo electrophysiology to further explore the effects of SSRI discontinuation.