23 May

GALENOS launches new website and first 'living system review'

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the new website for GALENOS, as well as the publication of the project's first Living System Review.

Part-funded by The Lord Mayor's Appeal, the Global Alliance for Living Evidence on aNxiety, depressiOn and pSychosis (GALENOS) aims to speed up the process of developing novel therapies and predicting effective treatments, trys to understand the underlying mechanisms of mental health conditions through the creation of an open-access platform that catalogues and evaluates the full spectrum of relevant scientific research, including human and preclinical studies. 

MQ Mental Health Research's Senior Partnerships Manager Helen McNicholas shared this following the announcement: 

It’s difficult for researchers, funders, people with lived experience, and others with an interest in mental health science to keep track of the ever-expanding literature. How can this information, which is published every day, all over the world, be gathered, analysed, and used effectively to design new research that makes a difference?

The Global Alliance for Living Evidence on Anxiety, Depression and Psychosis (GALENOS) aims to tackle these challenges by creating a continuously updated, comprehensive and trustworthy catalogue of the best scientific literature that allows the mental health community to better identify the research questions that most urgently need to be answered.

GALENOS will produce ‘Living’ Systematic Reviews (LSRs) on mental health topics covering diagnosis, treatment, and risk prediction. Unlike a standard systematic review, an LSR is continuously updated with the latest evidence as it becomes available.

By creating datasets and insights that are easy to navigate in a state-of-the-art online resource, this project will accelerate discovery science into effective new interventions, and solutions for the 1 in 4 of us impacted by mental illness.

Achievements to date include:

Establishing a Global Lived Experience Advisory Board

Meaningful involvement of individuals with lived and living experience is a key part of GALENOS, giving people the opportunity to be involved in research that affects their lives and leading to better services as a result.

In 2023, the team announced the formation of the Global Lived Experience Advisory Board (GLEAB), a group made up of notable mental health activists, campaigners, and advocates from around the world. They will shape the project as it evolves, playing a vital role in overseeing the reviews and prioritising topics for future investigation.

Publication of the first LSR

Psychotic disorders affect around 1% of the population, and rank among the top 20 causes of disability worldwide. Antipsychotic drugs are the cornerstone of treatment, and can be successful in both reducing symptoms and in preventing relapses. However, they are not effective for everyone and have a limited efficacy in addressing certain symptoms; additionally, they are also associated with multiple side effects.

As such, it is vitally important to identify new treatments. A potentially emerging solution is a Trace Amine-Associated reception 1 (TAAR1) agonism – a treatment that activates a specific receptor in the brain through use of a chemical substance. However, the current evidence around these agonisms is still emerging and unclear.

As part of the first published Living Systematic Review, the GALENOS team analysed the best available data on TAAR1 agonists. This found that TAAR1 agonists may be less efficacious than existing anti-psychotics already licensed for treatments of schizophrenia.

However, they seemed to have fewer side effects than existing treatments. These results are preliminary because of the limited number of drugs examined, potential biases in the evidence, and lack of longer-term data – because of these mixed results, more research is recommended.

Find out more about our partnership with MQ Mental Health Research here

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