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ADHD Research

Experimental Medicine in ADHD-Cannabinoids (EMA-C): Participants wanted

Prof. Philip Asherson, Ruth Cooper and Emma Williams

Research News

The MRC Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre was established in 1994 with the aim of encouraging collaborative research between investigators from different scientific backgrounds. The Centre is housed within the new SGDP Building that was opened in February 2003 and is based at the Institute of Psychiatry, part of King’s College London and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre, Institute of Psychiatry

The EMA-C Study at the Institute of Psychiatry

As a result of a collaboration between the SGDP Centre and the Maudsley Adult ADHD Clinic, we are pleased to announce the launch of a new study. The EMA-C study is to our knowledge, the first to investigate the effects of a cannabis based medication, Sativex Oromucosal Spray on behaviour and cognition in adults with ADHD.

What does the EMA-C study involve?

EMA-C is looking to recruit adults with a current diagnosis of ADHD. If you are taking medication for your ADHD, you must be prepared to stop taking this for one week before and for the duration of the 6 week study.

There will be three stages of assessment during the 6 week study:

Assessment 1: This will take place on day 1 at the SGDP centre and will last around 3 hours. We will ask you questions about your mental health and to complete some tasks assessing your thinking and learning. After this session we will give you a nasal spray which will either be Sativex or a dummy medicine known as a placebo (there is a 50% chance you will receive Sativex or placebo). We will ask you to take this spray every day for 6 weeks.

Assessment 2: This assessment will be completed at home after 2 weeks and will involve a phone call with the researcher and completion of questionnaires; this should take no longer than 1 hour.

Assessment 3: This will take place at 6 weeks at the SGDP centre and will involve completion of the same assessments as at your first visit and will take 2-3 hours.

Travel: We will reimburse your travel expenses for appointments.

How can I take part?

If you wish to consider participation in this study, please contact the research team for further information and to discuss what this would involve:

Emma Williams, email:,
tel: 0207 848 5367 or 07718669535

Or by post:

Emma Williams
EMA-C Study,
SGDP Building,
Institute of Psychiatry,
De Crespigny Park,
London SE5 8AF


We require participants with a clinical diagnosis of ADHD to uncover whether a deficit in motor capability is a precursor to navigational impairment in the same group. In other words, whether skills such as balance, walking, running, throwing and catching (motor skills) are related to the development of a sense of direction (navigation) in children with ADHD. This is an upcoming pilot study at the Institute of Education in which participants will be asked to navigate a route using virtual reality software and complete a short test on motor function.

We are looking for boys and girls aged 5 - 15 years, with a clinical diagnosis of ADHD. Participants will be required for a one-off session lasting approximately 2 hours.

The study will be conducted at The institute of Education, 25 Woburn Square, London, WC1H 0AA. Travel expenses will be reimbursed, alternatively I am happy to travel to participant's homes for convenience.

If you would like to get involved, or require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me on 07758 555 4068 or

Your help in supporting this study would be greatly appreciated.

Nadia Khan (Research Assistant to Dr Emily Farran - Lead Researcher

Phone: 020 8952 2800
Fax: 020 8952 2909

PO Box 340
Middlesex HA8 9HL

Registered Charity 1070827