Francesca Ducci, Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Francesca Ducci

Consultant Psychiatrist, General Psychiatry

Professional Qualifications, accreditations and memberships:

• Medical Degree: University of Pisa, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Pisa, Italy 2001
• Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in General Adulthood Psychiatry University of Pisa, Italy 2004
• PhD in neurobiological mechanisms underlying mood disorders and alcoholism, University of Pisa, Italy 2008
• Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in General Adulthood Psychiatry London Deanery 2013
• Member of the Royal college of Psychiatrist
• Registered with the General Medical Council [GMC 6169012]

My professional experience:

I am a general adult psychiatrist working in both the NHS and private sector in London.

I completed my medical education in Italy and my postgraduate qualification in General Adult Psychiatry both in Italy and in the UK. I have e deep interest in research and I worked for four years at the National Institute of Health (NIH), Bethesda, USA. In 2008 I completed a PhD in addiction biology.

Over the years, I developed a broad range of clinical and research expertise working in Italy, UK and USA.

I have experience in the assessment and treatment of different types of Psychiatric disorders including Anxiety (Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Generalized Anxiety), Mood Disorders (Depression, Bipolar Illness), Psychosis (e.g. Schizophrenia), and Personality Disorders.

I have a special interest in Neuropsychiatry that includes the treatment of Functional Neurological Syndromes (or Conversion disorders) such as non-epileptic seizures. I am also interested in the management of mental health problems in patients who are also affected by neurological conditions (e.g. Epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease).

I worked in multiple psychiatric services within NHS including the Early Intervention Unit for Psychosis (South London and Maudsley NHS trust), Home Treatment Team, Community Mental Health Team, the Neuropsychiatric Department at St George’s Hospital (South West London & St George’s Mental Health Trust).

Since 2013, I have been appointed as substantive Consultant Psychiatrist at South West London & St George’s Mental Health Trust.

My personal statement:

I have experience in the assessment and treatment of most mental health problems in adults. I have a special interest in neuropsychiatry.

During the initial consultation, I discuss with you the issues you are concerned about, your expectations from the treatment and ask about your past psychiatric history, medical history and personal background. If appropriate, I use rating scales and psychometric evaluations.

It usually takes one or two sessions (depending on the complexity) be able to discuss all the issues as well as your therapeutic goals.

I work in close collaboration with you to establish a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. At the end of the initial consultation, I will consider the feasibility of a diagnosis if any and advise/prescribe medications if needed.

After the first assessment, I advise on whether one or more follow-up appointments might be appropriate and on potential psychological interventions that could be effective for you.

My private practice is based in Central (Harley Street) and South (Elephant &Castle) London.

I accept referrals from patients, GPs, other specialists and employers. Full assessments can be arranged at short notice. I also offer second opinions and can make referral for psychotherapy. I provide medico-legal reports. I am a registered with all major private insurers.

I am able to communicate fluently in both Italian and English.

Additional information about my research, publications and interests:

I believe research is fundamental in improving our ability to understand and treat mental health problems. I am very interested in understanding how genetic and environmental factors can jointly predispose to psychiatric disorders.  Indeed, this is a first step toward the development of new treatments.

I started my research activity in 2004 working as postdoctoral visiting fellow at the prestigious National Institute of Health, (NIH) Bethesda, USA. At NIH, I focused my research interest on addiction and personality disorders. As a result of my work, I obtained a PhD in neurobiology of affective disorder in 2008. In London, I continued my research activity working as Clinical Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry Kings College London.

I have published over 35 articles for international scientific journals. Below are six selected publications:

1. Investigating the possible causal association of smoking with depression and anxiety using Mendelian randomisation meta-analysis: the CARTA consortium. BMJ Open. 2014. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25293386

2. Distinct loci in the CHRNA5/CHRNA3/CHRNB4 gene cluster are associated with onset of regular smoking. Genet Epidemiol. 2013. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24186853

3. TTC12-ANKK1-DRD2 and CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 Influence Different Pathways Leading to Smoking Behavior from Adolescence to Mid-Adulthood. Biological Psychiatry 2011. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21168125

4. Genome-wide association and genetic functional studies identify autism susceptibility candidate 2 gene (AUTS2) in the regulation of alcohol consumption. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2011.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21471458

5. Interaction between a functional MAOA locus and childhood sexual abuse predicts alcoholism and antisocial personality disorder in adult women. Molecular Psychiatry 2008. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17592478

6. The genetics of addictions: uncovering the genes. Nat Rev Genet, 2005. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15995696

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