Latest Brain Sciences News

Supporting actors take lead role as our brains age

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Ageing brains

The main changes in our brains as we get older are in the brain cells with a supporting role, called glial cells, British scientists have found.

Launch of the PHAGO project to explore a new approach for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease

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On 1st November 2016 the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) together with an association of industrial partners came together to support PHAGO, an innovative research project devoted to the development of immunomodulatory therapies for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). 

New model predicts when people are willing to try new things

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Supermarket shelves

A new model to predict when people are most likely to try different products has been developed by scientists at UCL and dunnhumby, a customer science company.

UCL staff recognised in New Year Honours 2017

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UCL Wilkins Portico statue

Congratulations to the members of the UCL community who have been recognised in the 2017 New Year Honours list.

Professor Miranda Wolpert honoured with MBE for services to child and adolescent mental healthcare

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Professor Miranda Wolpert

Many congratulations to Professor Miranda Wolpert, who has been honoured with a Member of British Empire (MBE) for services to child and adolescent mental healthcare.

Gene discovery helps children with movement disorder walk again

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UCL researchers have discovered a new genetic cause for dystonia, a movement disorder, enabling treatment with Deep Brain Stimulation which has been so successful that children have been able to walk again.

Naaheed Mukadam wins Lancet Wakley essay prize

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Picture of two tree faces: Lightspring/Shutterstock.com

Many congratulations to the Division of Psychiatry's Naaheed Mukadam, who has won the Lancet Wakley essay prize for her story entitled "Stay with Me". 

Risk avoidance in older adults is related to brain anatomy, not age

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rPPC grey matter volume accounts for risk tolerance after controlling for age.

An international study co-authored by an Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience researcher has found that risk avoidance in older adults may be linked to changes in brain anatomy, rather than to age.

New £250m UK Dementia Research Institute to be led from UCL

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MRI scan showing brain changes in dementia

UCL has been selected as the 'hub' of the new £250m UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI), to be led by Professor Bart De Strooper, current leader of the Laboratory for the Research of Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Leuven and scientific director at VIB (Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie) in Belgium.

Glaucoma drug may have potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease

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test tubes

A drug which is used to treat the common eye disease glaucoma may have potential as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, according to scientists at UCL.

Wellcome invests £24.1M in Research Centres at UCL

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Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging

Wellcome has today announced funding for two Wellcome Trust Centres at UCL. Wellcome Centres aim to advance our understanding of health and disease, and span fundamental and social sciences, clinical research and engineering.

Women with dementia receive less medical attention

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Woman in care home

Women with dementia have fewer visits to the GP, receive less health monitoring and take more potentially harmful medication than men with dementia, new UCL research reveals.

Cannabis review from Division of Psychiatry published in Nature

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Nature journal cover story, 'High Stakes: The effect of cannabis use on the brain's reward pathways'

A systematic review on the effects of cannabis on the brain’s reward system which was carried out by Dr Michael Bloomfield and colleagues from the Division of Psychiatry,features on the front cover of Nature this month.

Prize awarded to Faculty Dean for research achievements

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Professor Thompson receives the FEMM prize

The Dean of UCL’s Faculty of Brain Sciences, Professor Alan Thompson, was awarded a prize by the the Fundación Esclerosis Múltiple Madrid (FEMM - Multiple Sclerosis Foundation Madrid) earlier this month.

UCL researchers receive prestigious grant for schizophrenia research

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Dr Thygesen and Dr Bramon receive the Margaret Temple grant from BMA President, Professor Pali Hungin.

Dr Elvira Bramon and Dr Johan Hilge Thygesen, both of the UCL Division of Psychiatry, have won the Margaret Temple grant for schizophrenia research. This was awarded by the British Medical Association (BMA) at a ceremony on Tuesday 22 November. Involving 14,000 participants, their research will investigate rare genetic variants that increase schizophrenia risk and their influence on brain function and structure.

UCL neuroscientists are the 'most influential in the modern era'

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Professors Chris Frith, Ray Dolan and Karl Friston.

Three neuroscientists from the Faculty of Brain Sciences have come out on top in a study to find the world’s most influential neuroscientists.

UCL spin-outs at heart of new £1 billion life sciences investment group

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UCL spin-out companies will be at the heart of a new £1 billion life sciences company which has been created by three major investors in cancer research and other biotech fields. 

Light therapy could save bees from deadly pesticides

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Sick bee exposed to neocontinoid pesticide

Treating bees with light therapy can counteract the harmful effects of neonicotinoid pesticides and improve survival rates of poisoned bees, finds a new UCL study.

Mismatched light and heat levels can disrupt body clock

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Body clock function can break down when light and temperature levels throughout the day are out of sync, finds new UCL research in fruit flies.

Why you should sleep in a cool dark room

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Cell Reports cover

Mismatched light and heat levels can disrupt body clock

Body clock function can break down when light and temperature levels throughout the day are out of sync, finds new UCL research in fruit flies.

Blood vessels control brain growth

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Blood vessel growth and neural stem cells

Blood vessels play a vital role in stem cell reproduction, enabling the brain to grow and develop in the womb, reveals new UCL research in mice.

Older dogs better at learning new tricks

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Example of a simple non-verbal reasoning task

Older adolescents and adults can learn certain thinking skills including non-verbal reasoning more effectively than younger people, finds new UCL research.

Scientists from UCL and Gold Standard Phantoms build the first ever brain imaging phantom to calibrate MRI scanners

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Example Perfusion Phantom

MRI scanners are increasingly being used to look for signs of dementia. This is currently being done by looking for brain volume changes, such as shrinkage, and the images are simply looked at by radiologists, and then are graded as being “normal”, “slightly abnormal” or “very abnormal” depending on the loss of grey matter present in the images.

Top ten universities conduct a third of all UK animal research

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UCL animal research facility

The ten UK universities who do the most world-leading biomedical research have announced their animal research statistics, revealing that they collectively conducted a third of all UK animal research in 2015.

How lying takes our brains down a 'slippery slope’

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Pinocchio puppets

Telling small lies desensitises our brains to the associated negative emotions and may encourage us to tell bigger lies in future, reveals new UCL research funded by Wellcome and the Center for Advanced Hindsight.

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