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Dr David Okai

Job title Clinical Lead in Neuropsychiatry | Consultant Neuropsychiatrist

Area of expertise

  • Movement disorders
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Impulse Control Disorders
  • Autoimmune Encephalopathies
  • Functional Neurological Disorders
  • Traumatic Brain injury
  • Old Age and General Adult Psychiatry
  • Epilepsy
  • Psychosocial interventions/Randomised Control Trials
  • Capacity
  • Carer Strain/Distress


Dr David Okai is a Consultant Neuropsychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Clinical Lead for the Department, and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer in Neurosciences in Oxford. He previously worked as Clinical Lead for the Department of Psychological Medicine in Oxford.

He trained in psychiatry at the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital, and also spent some time at Queen Square Institute of Neurology. During his training he undertook a diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and completed his doctorate (MDRes) in research psychology - based on the assessment and psychosocial management of Parkinson’s patients with complex neuropsychiatric conditions.

He currently serves on the board of directors for the British Neuropsychiatric Association (BNPA), and has been a founding member of the Faculty of Neuropsychiatry Movement Disorders Working Group; advisor to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Management of the Neuropsychiatry of Parkinson’s; worked on the Clinical Advisory Panel of Parkinson’s UK; and was a member of the Movement Disorders Task Force on Rating Scales in ICBs.

He teaches nationally and internationally on many different areas of neuropsychiatry, and has published book chapters on neuropsychiatry/psychology, and general psychiatry. He has additional interests in factors such as the real-world validity of psychological tests of dysexecutive syndrome. He is involved with ongoing work on a large prospective studies of PD progression and how this impacts on personality and behaviour in Oxford; NIHR funded projects on the neuropsychiatry of the autoimmune encephalopathies, and a further trial in Depression in Traumatic Brain injury.

Education & Training

  • MD(Res). University of London (King’s College London), 2014
  • CCT. Dual accreditation in General Adult Psychiatry and Old Age Psychiatry, 2012
  • PGDip(CBT). London (Institute of Psychiatry), 2008
  • MRCPsych. Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2006
  • MB BS University of Nottingham (Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences),  2000
  • B.Med.Sci(Hons) University of Nottingham (Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences),  1998


Kelly, M. J., Baig, F., Hu, M. T. M., & Okai, D. (2020). Spectrum of impulse control behaviours in Parkinson’s disease: pathophysiology and management. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. 91;703–711.

Baig, F., Kelly, M., Lawton, M., Ruffmann, C., Rolinski, M., Klein, JC., Barber, T., Lo C., Ben-Shlomo, Y., Okai, D., Hu, M. (2019) Impulse control disorders in Parkinson’s and RBD – a longitudinal study of severity. Neurology 93(7); e675-e687.

Al-Diwani, A., Handel, A., Townsend, L., Pollak, T., Leite, M.I., Harrison, P.J., Lennox, B.R., Okai, D., Manohar, S.G. and Irani, S.R. (2019). The psychopathology of NMDAR-antibody encephalitis in adults: a systematic review and phenotypic analysis of individual patient data.  The Lancet Psychiatry. 6(3); 235-246

Evans, A., Okai, D., Weintraub, D, Voon., V., Krack, P., Lim, S., Sampaio, C., Rascol, O., Stebbins, G., Schrag, A., Goetz, C. (2019) Scales to assess impulsive and compulsive behaviours in Parkinson's disease: critique and recommendations. Movement Disorders

Baig, F., Lawton, M. A., Rolinski, M., Ruffmann, C., Klein, J. C., Nithi, K., Okai, D., & Hu, M. T. (2017). Personality and addictive behaviours in early Parkinson's disease and REM sleep behaviour disorder. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. 37; 72-78.

Koychev, I., & Okai, D. (2017). Cognitive-behavioural therapy for non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease: a clinical review. Evidence-based mental health. 20(1);15-20.

Iyasere, O., Okai, D., & Brown, E. (2017). Cognitive function and advanced kidney disease: longitudinal trends and impact on decision-making. Clinical Kidney Journal. 10(1); 89-94.

Okai, D., Askey‐Jones, S., Mack, J., Martin, A., Chaudhuri, K. R., Samuel, M., ... & Brown, R. G. (2016). Parkinson's Impulse Control Scale for the Severity Rating of Impulse Control Behaviors in Parkinson's Disease: A Semistructured Clinical Assessment Tool. Movement disorders clinical practice. 3(5); 494-499.

Okai, D., & Price, J. R. (2016). Functional disorders and ‘medically unexplained physical symptoms’. Medicine, 44(12), 706-710.

Okai, D. (2016). Clinical assessment in old age psychiatry. Medicine, 44(11), 641-645.

Okai, D., Askey-Jones, S., Samuel, M., Brown, R., David, A. (2015) Predictors of Response to a Cognitive Behavioural Intervention for Impulse Control Behaviours in Parkinson’s disease. Movement Disorders. 30(5); 736-739.

Todorova,A., Martin, A., Okai, D., Samuel, M., Brown, R., David, A., Chaudhuri, C. (2013). Subcutaneous apomorphine and non-motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease. Movement Disorders. 28 (Suppl. 1); S133-134.

Okai, D., Askey-Jones, S., Samuel, M., O’Sullivan, S., Chaudhuri, R., Martin, A., Mack, J., Brown, R., David, A. (2013) An RCT of a Cognitive Behavioural Intervention for Impulse Control Behaviours in PD patients. Neurology.  80(9); 792-799.

Mack, J., Okai, D., Brown, R., Askey-Jones, S., Chaudhuri, R., Martin, A., Samuel, M., David, A. (2013) The Role of Self-Awareness and Cognitive Dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease with and without Impulse-Control Disorder. The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. 25(2); 141-149.

Okai, D., Samuel, M., Jones S., Brown, R., David, A. (2011) Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson’s disease: A Broader Conceptual Framework. European Journal of Neurology 18(12); 1379-1383.

Okai, D., Owen, G., McGuire, H., Singh, S., Churchill, R. Hotopf, M. (2007) Mental Capacity in Psychiatric Patients: A Systematic Review. British Journal of Psychiatry 191(4); 291-297.

Hotopf, M., Okai, D., Owen, G., Singh, S, Churchill, R. (2007). Mental Capacity: a systematic review of empirical research. Department of Health, UK.

Owen, G., Okai, D., Hotopf, M (2007) Mental Capacity. Psychiatry. 6(2); 69-72.

Book chapters

Evans, A., Okai, D., Weintraub, D., Voon, V., Krack, P., Lim, S., Sampaio, C., Rascol, O., Stebbins, G., Schrag, A., Goetz, C. (2019) Scales to assess impulsive and compulsive behaviours in Parkinson's disease: critique and recommendations.

Okai D., David A. (2012) Cognitive Neuropsychiatry. Chapter in: Cognitive Psychology (Eds: Braisby N and Gellatly N) Oxford University Press (Oxford). Pages 468-502. Undergraduate book for psychology training.

Okai D. (2016) General Adult Psychiatry. Chapter in: MRCPsych: Passing the CASC Exam (Eds: Sauer J) Hodder Arnold (London). Pages 1-22. A highly popular book in use for the clinical assessment of clinical skills exam


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