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Dr Jessica Eccles

Dr Jessica Eccles

Dr Jessica Eccles (MB ChB, Dip(French), MA, MSc, MRCPsych, PhD, PGCert HE)

Clinical Senior Lecturer and MQ Arthritis Research UK Fellow
E: J.Eccles@bsms.ac.uk
Location: Trafford Centre for Medical Research, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9RR

PA: Rosie Mulgrue
E: R.Mulgrue@bsms.ac.uk
T: 01273 876937

Areas of expertise: Brain-Body Interactions, Joint hypermobility, Liaison Psychiatry, Neurodevelopmental Conditions, Immunopsychiatry

Research areas: Neuroscience, Psychiatric and neurodevelopmental features of connective tissue disorders, Mechanisms of chronic pain and fatigue 

Other websites: Orcid, Linkedin

Twitter: @bendybrain 
Instagram: @drbendybrain

www.researchgate.net/profile/Jessica_Eccles

Biography

Jessica Eccles trained in medicine at University of Cambridge and University of Oxford, completing a BA in The History and Philosophy of Science, sparking a keen interest in philosophy of mind and brain-body interactions, and since graduation from medical school has pursued a combined academic clinical path at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. As an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow she completed her PhD in the relationship between joint hypermobility, autonomic dysfunction and psychiatric symptoms and following an NIHR Academic Clinical Lectureship is now a Clinical Senior Lecturer in the department of Neuroscience at BSMS. She holds an honorary clinical contract with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust where she works in the Neurodevelopmental Service. Alongside colleagues, she also set up the Immunopsychiatry service at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Research

Dr Eccles is currently working on an number of grants related to brain-body interactions. These include an Academy of Medical Sciences grant to explore neural connectivity in hypermobility using leading edge Human Connectome Project techniques. Her popluar Academy of Medical Sciences Webcast on exploring the link between joint hypermobility and anxiety is available here >   

She was awarded a prestigious MQ Arthritis Research UK Fellows Award to conduct a randomised clinical trial of a new non-drug targeted treatment for anxiety in hypermobility. This study (ADAPT) has now closed for recruitment. A video exploring some of the insights from Dr Eccles' work on hypermobility and anxiety is available here >

Dr Eccles led a study which found that neurodivergent people are more than twice as likely as the general population to have hypermobile joints and are far more likely to experience pain on a regular basis. Read the full article here >

Dr Eccles has been awarded a grant from Dysautonomia International and will be working with Dr Valeria Iodice, Prof Critchley, Prof Cercignani, Dr Nagai, Dr Asslanni, Prof Peter Rowe, Prof Murphy and Dr Giovanni to explore multi-modal correlates of ‘brain fog’ in Postural Tachycardia Syndrome.  This brain imaging study will open for recruitment (Covid-19 restrictions allowing) in 2022.

Dr Eccles is working with Prof Davies, Prof Harrison, Prof Cercignani, Prof Critchley and Dr Tarzi to explore brain-body interactions in Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS. This involves autonomics, inflammatory and cytokine markers, brain imaging and transcriptomics. Read more about this in The Conversation or watch this video. This study is now closed for recruitment and results are being prepared for further publications. Read some of the initial findings here and conclusions here. A video with some initial findings is available here >

Dr Eccles recently recorded a podcast about the relationship between neurodivergence and hypermobility, please listen here > 

And Dr Eccles recorded another on hypermobility, fatigue, anxiety and trauma. Listen here >

Teaching

Jessica delivers a highly popular SSC entitled ‘Psychiatry and Other Arts’ for Module 202. She has supervised several IRP students and her most recent student won a prize for their work. She has supervised a University of Sussex Junior Research Associate and Wellcome Trust Summer Studentships and lectures and examines on both the undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum.  

Publications

Csecs, Jenny L L, Dowell, Nicholas G, Savage, Georgia K, Iodice, Valeria, Mathias, Christopher J, Critchley, Hugo D and Eccles, Jessica A (2021) Variant connective tissue (joint hypermobility) and dysautonomia are associated with multimorbidity at the intersection between physical and psychological health. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics. pp. 1-10. ISSN 1552-4868 

Davies, Geoff, Csecs, Jenny L L, Ball, Heather, Dare, Jess, Bremner, Stephen, Hosking, Robin, Critchley, Hugo D, Grey, Nick and Eccles, Jessica A (2021) Altering Dynamics of Autonomic Processing Therapy (ADAPT) trial: a novel, targeted treatment for reducing anxiety in joint hypermobility. Trials, 22 (1). a645 1-10. ISSN 1745-6215

Sharp, Harriet Emma Clare, Critchley, Hugo D and Eccles, Jessica A (2021) Connecting brain and body: transdiagnostic relevance of connective tissue variants to neuropsychiatric symptom expression. World Journal of Psychiatry, 11 (10). pp. 1-15. ISSN 2220-3206

Ahmed J, Eccles J A. Accuracy of depression score: a positive HADS score may only be the tip of the iceberg BMJ 2021; 373 :n1541 doi:10.1136/bmj.n1541

Eccles, Jessica Anne, Ascott, Anna, McGeer, Rona, Hills, Emma, St. Clair Jones, Anja, Page, Lisa A, Smith, Melissa A, Loewenberger, Alana and Gregory, Jemima (2020) Inflammatory bowel disease psychological support pilot reduces inflammatory bowel disease symptoms and improves psychological wellbeing. Frontline Gastroenterology. pp. 1-4. ISSN 2041-4137

Eccles, Jessica, Thompson, Beth, Themelis, Kristy, Amato, Marisa L, Stocks, Robyn, Pound, Amy, Jones, Anna-Marie, Cipinova, Zdenka, Shah-Goodwin, Lorraine, Timeyin, Jean, Thompson, Charlotte R, Batty, Thomas, Harrison, Neil A, Critchley, Hugo D and Davies, Kevin A (2021) Beyond bones: the relevance of variants of connective tissue (hypermobility) to fibromyalgia, ME/CFS and controversies surrounding diagnostic classification: an observational study. Clinical Medicine, 21 (1). pp. 53-58. ISSN 1470-2118

Eccles, Jessica A and Davies, Kevin A (2021) The challenges of chronic pain and fatigue. Clinical Medicine, 21 (1). pp. 19-27. ISSN 1470-2118

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