Professor Alan Carson

Consultant Neuropsychiatrist and Honorary Professor


Dr Carson graduated in Medicine from Edinburgh University in 1991 and completed basic Psychiatry training at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. Following six months as a Wellcome Research Fellow examining the cognitive effects of HIV infection in a Kenyan population, he was Lecturer and Honorary Senior Registrar in Psychiatry at University of Edinburgh.

During this time he developed his interest in neuropsychiatry and was trained by Professor Michael Sharpe, Professor David Owens and Professor Charles Warlow. He was subsequently appointed Consultant Neuropsychiatrist to Rehabilitation Medicine at the Astley Ainslie Hospital and to the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the Western General Hospital.

He was an original grant holder for the development of the Scottish Mental Health Research Network.

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Associate Editor of Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
  • Director - National Managed Clinical Network for Acquired Brain Injury
  • Honorary Fellowship Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh
  • Honorary Fellowship Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh
  • Board of Directors - British Neuropsychiatry Association
  • Editorial Board Member - Brain Injury (Journal of International Brain Injury Association)
  • Co-editor Hallett M, Stone J, Carson A. Handbook of Neurology: Functional Symptoms
  • Executive Board member - Neuropsychiatry Section, Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists’ advisor on somatoform disorders for DSM V & ICD 11 revisions
  • Scottish Government - Chair of writing group - General Practice Guidelines on CFS/ME
  • Previous Chairman - Scottish Head Injury Forum
  • Presidents Medal, Royal College of Psychiatrists (2017)

Research summary

Dr Carson's general interest is in disorders that lie at the borderland between clinical psychiatry and neurology. He is particularly interested in the inter-relationship between brain, behaviour and health beliefs. Clinically he runs a neurorehabilitation service that specialises in behavioural modification following brain injury but from a research perspective he has used similar principles to examine and treat functional neurological symptoms.

He was Principal Investigator of the Scottish Neurological Symptoms Study. He has a longstanding collaboration with Dr Jon Stone, Consultant Neurologist. He also has involvement in studies in behavioural complications of stroke, head injury and brain tumours. External collaborators include Mark Edwards, Laura Goldstein, Michael Sharpe, Markus Reuber, Jon Mellers, Richard Kanaan, Tim Nicholson and Tony David.

Related links

Functional disorders research at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences

Functional Neurological Forum: a multidisciplinary forum for health professionals involved in functional neurological symptoms

View all 136 publications on Research Explorer