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Brain Sciences

Drug lowers deadly Huntington’s disease protein

The first drug targeting the cause of Huntington’s disease was safe and well-tolerated in its first human trial led by UCL scientists. It successfully lowered the level of the harmful huntingtin protein in the nervous system.

Higher education linked to lower risk of Alzheimer’s in gene study

Higher educational attainment is associated with a “significantly lower” chance of people suffering Alzheimer’s, according to the biggest genetic study into the potential causes of the disease reported today in the BMJ.

Psychosis incidence highly variable internationally

Rates of psychosis can be close to eight times higher in some regions compared to others, finds a new study led by researchers at UCL, King’s College London and the University of Cambridge.

UCL revamps wellbeing service to support students with mental ill health

An out of hours, 365-day a year telephone counselling service is being offered to UCL students at home or abroad as part of a strategy to support students experiencing mental ill health.

Women in Vision UK breaking barriers in their field

A team of scientists and clinicians from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology have joined forces with professionals in vision and eye health to host the first ever Women in Vision UK  meeting on 15th December 2017 in London.

Marriage may help stave off dementia

Marriage may lower the risk of developing dementia, concludes a UCL-led synthesis of the available evidence published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry .

Avatar therapy to reduce auditory hallucinations for people with schizophrenia

An experimental therapy which involves a face-to-face discussion between a person with schizophrenia and an avatar representing their auditory hallucination may help reduce symptoms, when provided alongside usual treatment, according to a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.

Mental health difficulties and academic performance during middle childhood and early adolescence interrelate over time

New research led by the Evidence Based Practice Unit, a partnership between UCL and the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, has investigated the link between mental health difficulties and academic performance during middle childhood and early adolescence.

Audience members’ hearts beat together at the theatre

New research led by the UCL Division of Psychological and Language Sciences (PaLS) has found that watching a live theatre performance can synchronize your heartbeat with other people in audience, regardless of if you know them or not.

Teenage depression linked to father’s depression

Adolescents whose fathers have depressive symptoms are more likely to experience symptoms of depression themselves, finds a new study led by UCL researchers.

Improving clinical trials with machine learning

Machine learning could improve our ability to determine whether a new drug works in the brain, potentially enabling researchers to detect drug effects that would be missed entirely by conventional statistical tests, finds a new UCL study published today in Brain .

UCL stages first overseas graduation for Chinese students

More than 200 Chinese students graduated from UCL in Beijing at the weekend in the university’s first graduation ceremonies held in China.

Research unit to bring evidence to forefront of mental health policy

UCL and King’s College London are leading the establishment of a new policy research unit, the NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit, which will bring mental health researchers, clinicians, service users and carers closer together. The main aim of the unit is to provide research to inform policy makers.

UCL academic wins international award for hereditary disease research

Professor Sarah Tabrizi, director of the UCL Huntington’s Disease Centre at the UCL Institute of Neurology, has received the 2017 International Leslie Gehry Brenner prize for Innovation in Science.

"Gaming for good" at the Science Museum with Sea Hero Quest

Visitors to the Science Museum’s Lates event had the chance to “game for good” and contribute to essential dementia research when they met Dr Hugo Spiers and the team behind Sea Hero Quest.

Tiny silicon probes provide high definition recording of brain activity

A team involving UCL scientists has developed a new device that could revolutionise our understanding of the brain by allowing researchers to map the activity of complex neural networks that control behaviour and decision making, in a way never before possible. The Neuropixels probes are described in a paper published today in Nature .

UCL ranked 2nd worldwide for psychology by THE

UCL has been ranked 2nd worldwide for Psychology in the latest Times Higher Education rankings by subject, released today.

UCL efforts to target dementia showcased in China

UCL’s efforts to harness new technology in the battle to combat the “timebomb” of dementia worldwide were showcased in China this week.

iBSc Psychology student wins prestigious BNS prize for undergraduate research project

Congratulations to student Alex Dorgham, who has won the prestigious British Neuropsychological Society (BNS) prize for an undergraduate research project.

Self-esteem mapped in the human brain

A team of UCL researchers has devised a mathematical equation that can explain how our self-esteem is shaped by what other people think of us, in a new study published in the scientific journal eLife .

New scale measures impact of colour blindness on quality of life

Dr John Barry, Honorary Lecturer at UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, has developed the first ever scale to measure the impact of colour blindness on quality of life.

UCL’s teaching successes highlighted in study of national rankings

UCL has been singled out for key features of its teaching including its focus on student employability, curriculum innovations and humility in an analysis of the recent nationwide assessment of universities’ teaching quality.

First randomised control trial at NHNN to test effectiveness of robot guiding electrode placement during neurosurgery

A randomised clinical trial for EpiNav™ has begun at the National Hospital for Neurosurgery and Neurology (NHNN).The trial will test the effectiveness of a robot micro-guided system which is used to help guide intracranial electrode placement during diagnostic brain surgery for epilepsy patients.The EpiNav™ project is an interactive neuro-navigation system to assist in planning and guiding surgical interventions for patients with epilepsy. It is a collaborative effort between researchers from the Institute of Healthcare Engineering (led by WEISS), the UCL Institute of Neurology, and the NHNN. The work is led by principal investigators Prof John Duncan and Prof Sebastien Ourselin, engineering lead Rachel Sparks, the neurosurgical consultants Mr Andrew McEvoy and Ms Anna Miserocchi, and senior clinical researcher Vejay Vakharia.

Dr Daniel C. Richardson explores everyday psychology in new book

Where do our thoughts live? Do we see the same colours as everyone else? Why do people commit violence?

Gentle touch soothes the pain of social rejection

The gentle touch of another individual soothes the effects of social exclusion, one of the most emotionally painful human experiences, according to new UCL research.