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Latest Brain Sciences News

Junk food causes similar high blood sugar levels as type 2 diabetes

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A junk food diet can cause as much damage to the kidney as diabetes, according to a new study published in the journal Experimental Physiology.

Two children in every class experience language disorders

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School children

Approximately two children in each Year 1 class will experience a clinically significant language disorder that impacts learning, according to a UCL-led study on language impairment at school entry age.

Three UCL scientists elected Fellows of the Royal Society

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FRS 2016

Three UCL scientists have been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society in recognition of their outstanding contribution to science.

Why bad experiences are remembered out of context

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Hippocampus

Bad experiences can cause people to strongly remember the negative content itself but only weakly remember the surrounding context, and a new UCL study funded by the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust has revealed how this happens in the brain.

Recruitment opens for Director of the UCL Ear Institute

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UCL invites applications for the post of Director of the Ear Institute (EI) from candidates of international standing, with an outstanding track record and excellent research profile in auditory and/or vestibular research combined with significant experience of academic and strategic management. The person appointed will be a charismatic leader with clear vision and a strong strategist who will foster and build on the excellence of the Ear Institute.

UCL Drug Discovery Institute launch

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Prof Paul Whiting

The Alzheimer’s Research UK UCL Drug Discovery Institute was launched at an event last Wednesday 4 May as part of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Drug Discovery Alliance.

Time course of memory relocation revealed

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Hippocampus

The time-dependent role of the hippocampus in memory storage has been revealed through new research led by UCL and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

SLMS researchers elected as Fellows of Royal Society

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Professors Maria Fitzgerald (Professor of Developmental Neurobiology, UCL Division of Biosciences) and Eleanor Maguire (Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology) will become elected fellows of the Royal Society.

School affects girls’ chances of being diagnosed with an eating disorder

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School

The school a girl attends can affect her chance of being diagnosed with an eating disorder, finds a new study co-authored by UCL researchers. The results are published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Nick Lesica has been awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship

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Nick Lesica

Congratulations to Dr Nick Lesica from UCL Ear Institute who has been awarded a Senior Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Science by the Wellcome Trust which will last for five years.

Rescuing human light-sensors in childhood blindness

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Graphical abstract

Scientists at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology have identified the mechanism behind a common inherited cause of severe sight loss in young children. The results also point to a potential new treatment that may be possible to deliver by simple injection to the eye.

Uncertainty can cause more stress than inevitable pain

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Task structure and stress measures

Knowing that there is a small chance of getting a painful electric shock can lead to significantly more stress than knowing that you will definitely be shocked, finds a new UCL study funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC).

New Drug Shows Promise in Fighting Muscle Wasting Disease

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Cross-section of muscle from a patient with inclusion body myositis (courtesy of Marinos C. Dalakas MD via Neurology)

A new drug to treat the muscle wasting disease inclusion body myositis (IBM) reverses key symptoms in mice and is safe and well-tolerated in patients, finds a new study led by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases at University College London (UCL) Institute of Neurology and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Wellcome Hub Project

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Exploration of dementia announced as second project of The Hub at Wellcome Collection

A group exploring dementia and the arts led by Seb Crutch have been invited to take up the 2016-2018 residency in The Hub at Wellcome Collection, a flagship space and resource for interdisciplinary projects exploring health and wellbeing. Bringing together a rich network including scientists, artists, clinicians, public health experts and broadcasters, the group will examine and challenge perceptions of dementia through scientific and creative experimentation. They have been awarded £1 million to develop the project over two years. Full details can be found on the Wellcome Trust website

New drug shows promise against muscle wasting disease

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Cross-section of muscle from a patient with inclusion body myositis

A new drug to treat the muscle wasting disease inclusion body myositis (IBM) reverses key symptoms in mice and is safe and well-tolerated in patients, finds a new study led by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases at UCL and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Risk of schizophrenia and other psychoses three times higher in refugees

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Refugees on the Macedonian border

A study of 1.3 million people in Sweden found that the risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia or other psychoses was three times higher in refugees than in the Swedish-born population.

PG Symposium

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On 8 March we held our annual postgraduate research symposium, giving our PGR students a chance to showcase their work, catch up with their peers from around the faculty and be in with a chance of winning some money!

Grid cells’ role in human imagination revealed

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Entorhinal cortex

Evidence of grid cell activity has been seen in healthy volunteers asked to imagine moving through an environment in new UCL research funded by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.

Remembering George Martin (3 January 1926 – 8 March 2016)

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George Martin 2006

George Martin KBE CBE, who has just died at the age of 90, was a prominent supporter of work in hearing research who often gave his time to help promote its importance.

Nitrous oxide could disrupt formation of traumatic memories

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Laughing gas has been used as an anaesthetic since the 1840s. This image shows canisters from 1915-1940.

Nitrous oxide administered after a traumatic event may help to prevent distressing memories from ‘sticking’ in the brain, suggests new UCL research.

Virtual reality study examines GP response when patients demand antibiotics

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VR GP antibiotic scenario

Both trainee and senior GPs prescribed antibiotics without clinical need when faced with a virtual reality (VR) scenario where patients angrily demanded them, finds new UCL research.

Following orders makes us feel less responsible for our actions

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Experimental set-up in the coercive condition

Coercive instructions make people feel less responsible for the outcomes of their actions, as opposed to merely saying that they are less responsible, researchers from UCL and the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium have found.

Major Wellcome Trust award to UCL boosts Huntington’s disease research

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A team of researchers from UCL and the University of Cambridge led by Professor Sarah Tabrizi, Director of the Huntington’s Disease Centre, UCL Institute of Neurology, have been granted a prestigious Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award in one of the largest investments in Huntington’s Disease (HD) ever given by a public funding body in the UK. 

Virtual reality therapy could help people with depression

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Participant playing the role of an adult comforting a crying child

An immersive virtual reality therapy could help people with depression to be less critical and more compassionate towards themselves, reducing depressive symptoms, finds a new study from UCL and ICREA-University of Barcelona.

Understanding the physics of pancakes to save sight

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Understanding the textures and patterns of pancakes is helping UCL scientists improve surgical methods for treating glaucoma.

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