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Professor James Stone

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Professor James Stone (MBBS PhD FRCPsych)

Professor of Psychiatry
Location: Room 211 Trafford Centre for Medical Research, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9RY

PA: Juliet Kneller 
T: 01273 873833

Areas of expertise: Psychiatry, Neuroimaging, Experimental Medicine 

Research areas: Ketamine for treatment resistant depression, the role of glutamate in psychosis and depression, the early stage testing of novel drug treatments including probiotics, and the development of neuroimaging biomarkers to enable a stratified medicine approach for psychiatric conditions


Professor Stone trained in Medicine at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine where he took an intercalated BSc in Neuroscience. After completing his medical degree, he specialised in Psychiatry, starting on the training scheme in Cambridge in 1998 and then moving to the Maudsley in 2000. He completed a PhD at the Maudsley hospital, investigating the role of glutamate in psychosis using single photon emission tomography and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Following this, he worked at Imperial College London as a Senior Lecturer, working as co-director of the intercalated BSc in neuroscience as well as continuing research into the role of glutamatergic abnormalities in psychosis. Between 2013 and August 2020, Professor Stone worked as a Clinical Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, with a focus on experimental medicine and clinical trials. During his time there he also set up the ketamine clinic at the Maudsley Hospital for patients with treatment resistant depression.  Dr Stone moved to Brighton and Sussex Medical School as Reader in Psychiatry in September 2020. 


Professor Stone’s main research interests at present are the role of glutamate and GABA in psychosis and depression, the early stage testing of novel treatments and the development of neuroimaging biomarkers to enable a stratified medicine approach for psychiatric conditions. He is supervising PhD projects on the biological mechanisms of action of ketamine in treatment resistant depression; the role of GABA modulation in psychosis; and the role of gut microbiota in depression. He is also running an number of other research projects including investigating the role of inflammation in mental illness; the effect of blood glucose on outcome in schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder; brain connectivity in chronic ketamine users; and the effect of auditory binaural beats on cognition and mental state.    


Professor Stone worked as Assessment Lead for Stage 2 MBBS at King’s College London and previously as co-director of the intercalated BSc in Neuroscience at Imperial College London. He has taught on a wide variety of topics related to psychiatry including rating scales, ketamine, experimental medicine, drug development, psychosis and anxiety disorders.

Selected publications

Hobbs, M., Patel, R., Morrison, P. D., Kalk, N. & Stone, J. M. (2020). Synthetic cannabinoid use in psychiatric patients and relationship to hospitalisation: A retrospective electronic case register study; Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England). 34, 6, p. 648-653

Jelen, L. A., King, S., Horne, C. M., Lythgoe, D. J., Young, A. H. & Stone, J. M. (2020). Functional magnetic resonance spectroscopy in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder: Glutamate dynamics in the anterior cingulate cortex during a working memory task; European Neuropsychopharmacology. 29, 2, p. 222-234

Nikolova, V., Zaidi, S. Y., Young, A. H., Cleare, A. J. & Stone, J. M. (2019). Gut feeling: randomized controlled trials of probiotics for the treatment of clinical depression: Systematic review and meta-analysis; Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology. 9, 2045125319859963.

Jelen, L. A., King, S., Mullins, P. G. & Stone, J. M. (2018). Beyond static measures: A review of functional magnetic resonance spectroscopy and its potential to investigate dynamic glutamatergic abnormalities in schizophreniaIn : Journal of Psychopharmacology. p. 269881117747579

Jelen, L. A., King, S. & Stone, J. M. (2018). Alternatives to ketamine in depression: state-of-the-art and future perspectives; Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology. 8, 3, p. 95-98

Stone, J. M., Morrison, P. D., Koychev, I., Gao, F., Reilly, T. J., Kolanko, M., Mohammadinasab, A., Kapur, S. & McGuire P.K. (2016). The effect of sodium nitroprusside on psychotic symptoms and spatial working memory in patients with schizophrenia: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial; Psychological Medicine. p. 1-8

Stone, J. M., Fisher, H. L., Major, B., Chisholm, B., Woolley, J., Lawrence, J., Rahaman, N., Joyce, J., Hinton, M., Johnson, S. & Young, A. H. (2014). Cannabis use and first-episode psychosis: relationship with manic and psychotic symptoms, and with age at presentation; Psychological medicine. 44, 3, p. 499-506

Egerton, A., Brugger, S., Raffin, M., Barker, G. J., Lythgoe, D. J., McGuire, P. K. & Stone, J. (2012); Anterior Cingulate Glutamate Levels Related to Clinical Status Following Treatment in First-Episode Schizophrenia; Neuropsychopharmacology. 37, 11, p. 2515-2521

Stone, J., Dietrich, C., Edden, R., Mehta, M. A., De Simoni, S., Reed, L. J., Krystal, J. H., Nutt, D. & Barker, G. J. (2012). Ketamine effects on brain GABA and glutamate levels with 1H-MRS: relationship to ketamine- induced psychopathology; Molecular Psychiatry. 17, 7, p. 664-665

Stone, J. M., Morrison, P. D., Brugger, S., Nottage, J., Bhattacharyya, S., Sumich, A., Wilson, D., Tunstall, N., Feilding, A., Brenneisen, R., McGuire, P., Murray, R. M. & Ffytche, D. H. (2012). Communication breakdown: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol effects on pre-speech neural coherence; Molecular Psychiatry. 17, 6, p. 568-569

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