NEWS

26th March 2012
Prime Minister visits the Dementia Research Centre at UCL's Institute of Neurology
 
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has visited the Dementia Research Centre at UCL as part of this morning’s government pledge to double dementia research funding to £66 million by 2015.
The Prime Minister visited the Centre, part of UCL Institute of Neurology, as well as partner hospital the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN). He spoke to clinicians and academics about their work, as well as patients involved in UCL research.
 
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26th March 2012
People with autism have a greater ability to process information, study suggests
 
People with autism have a greater than normal capacity for processing information even from rapid presentations and are better able to detect information defined as ‘critical’, according to a study published today in the ‘Journal of Abnormal Psychology’. The research, funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Economic and Social Research Council, may help to explain the apparently higher than average prevalence of people with autism spectrum disorders in the IT industry.
 
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16th March 2012
Poor literacy skills linked to increased mortality risk among older people
 
One in three older people who have difficulty reading and understanding basic health related information may be at increased risk of death, concludes a UCL study published by the BMJ today.
The findings have important implications given rising levels of long term conditions and the UK government’s plans for patients to become responsible and active partners in their care.
 
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14th March 2012
UCL launches News podcast
 
UCL News has launched a new podcast to give you the opportunity to listen to the latest news and research from around UCL every fortnight. Split up into three parts, you can either listen to the podcast all in one go, or save features for later listening.
 
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9th March 2012
Bias in decision-making leads to poor choices and possibly depression
 
When faced with making a complicated decision, our automatic instinct to avoid misfortune can result in missing out on rewards, and could even contribute to depression, according to new research.
 
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10th February 2012
Skin cancer drug 'clears Alzheimer's protein from the brain'
 
Professors John Hardy (UCL Molecular Neuroscience) and Derek Hill (UCL Medical Physics & Bioengineering) comment on a new drug which may reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
 
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26th January 2012
Three hours' extra work a day doubles risk of depression
 
Dr Marianna Virtanen (UCL Epidemiology & Health) says "working excessive hours is associated with an increased risk of major depression”.
 
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6th January 2012
Brain function can start declining 'as early as age 45'
 
The brain's ability to function can start to deteriorate as early as 45, suggest UCL researchers in a British Medical Journal study.
 
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23rd December 2011
Brain Implant Cures Woman's Tourette's Tics
 
A patient who is part of the first UK trial to evaluate the impact of 'deep brain stimulation' on Tourette's has experienced a dramatic recovery.
 
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19th December 2011
'We want to prevent people getting dementia'
 
Following a £20million gift from The Wolfson Foundation to establish a new neurodegeneration research centre, Professor Nick Fox (UCL Institute of Neurology) comments on the work it will carry out
 
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6th December 2011
Abused children's brain similar to combat troops, scans show
 
Research by Dr Eamon McCrory (UCL Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology) shows that children exposed to family violence show the same pattern of activity in their brains as combat soldiers.
 
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16th November 2011
Children with high IQs more likely to use drugs as adults
 
A cohort study by Dr David Batty (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) and academics from Cardiff University has found that children with high IQs are more likely to use illegal drugs as teenagers and adults.
 
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11th November 2011
Can society afford not to fix 'broken families'?
 
Professor Peter Fonagy talks to Channel 4 News about the importance of early intervention.
 
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10th October 2011
Brain 'rejects negative thoughts'
 
The brain is very good at processing good news about the future, according to new research led by Dr Tali Sharot (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience).
 
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12th September 2011
Wellcome Trust report reviews 20 years of human functional brain imaging
 
The Wellcome Trust has published a report reflecting on human functional brain imaging. Between 1990 and 2009, the Wellcome Trust invested £114m in the area, of which £50m was allocated to the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL.
 
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26th August 2011
Brain scans could detect Alzheimer's before symptoms develop
 
Dr Jonathan Schott (UCL Institute of Neurology) comments on the potential of brain scanning techniques being used to detect patients at risk of dementia before symptoms develop.
 
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24th August 2011
Women anticipate negative experiences differently to men
 
Men and women differ in the way they anticipate unpleasant emotional experiences, according to research by Dr Giulia Galli (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience).
 
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23rd August 2011
Scientists hail Parkinson's brain cells 'breakthrough’
 
Dr Michael Devine (UCL Institute of Neurology) collaborates on research where stem cells from one of the most rapidly-progressing forms of Parkinson's disease have been generated.
 
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10th August 2011
UK riots: What turns people into looters?
 
Dr James Thompson (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) comments about looting and group behaviour.
 
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3rd August 2011
Eating disorders delay pregnancy
 
Women with a history of eating disorders may struggle to fall pregnant quickly, according to new research co-authored by Dr Nadia Micali (UCL Institute of Child Health)
 
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27th July 2011
Why are we so good at recognising our own facial expressions?
 
Richard Cook (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) on why we are better at spotting our own facial expressions on an avatar than the expressions of our friends, with potential implications for disorders associated with distorted body image.
 
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22nd July 2011
New Policy Research Unit in the Health of Children, Young People and Families
 
Delivering the best policy research in the health of children, young people and families

The UCL Institute of Child Health and partners have secured a five year, £4.6m grant from the Department of Health Policy Research Programme, to lead a new Policy Research Unit in the Health of Children, Young People and Families (abbreviated to CPRU). The Unit was formally launched on Wednesday 20 July at the Institute of Child Health.
 
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14th July 2011
Antidepressants
 
Dr Joanna Moncreiff (UCL Mental Health Sciences) discusses the issues surrounding the prescription of antidepressants to women.
 
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17th June 2011
A way forward for dementia: A joint neuroscience/mental health conference
 
A major conference to integrate research and clinical perspectives on dementia and to
agree objectives to improve the care of people with dementia in general hospital wards
 
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11th April 2011
Mapping the Brain
 
Scientists have moved a step closer to being able to develop a computer model of the brain after developing a technique to map both the connections and functions of nerve cells in the brain together for the first time.

A new area of research is emerging in the neuroscience known as 'connectomics'. With parallels to genomics, which maps the our genetic make-up, connectomics aims to map the brain's connections (known as 'synapses'). By mapping these connections – and hence how information flows through the circuits of the brain – scientists hope to understand how perceptions, sensations and thoughts are generated in the brain and how these functions go wrong in diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and stroke.


 
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1st April 2011
Early onset eating disorders: new findings
 
Early-onset eating disorders affect about 3 in every 100,000 children under the age of 13, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

 
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22nd December 2010
Alzheimer’s changes detectable in healthy elderly
 
A team of UCL researchers, part-funded by the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, has discovered that combining spinal fluid testing with MRI scans could provide an early indication of a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s.


 
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10th December 2010
World-leading scientist secures funding for gene research
 
A world leader in dementia research is embarking on a major study into Alzheimer’s disease in London, funded by a grant from the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, the UK’s leading dementia research charity.

 
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6th December 2010
Seeing the world differently
 
Scientists have shown for the first time that exactly how we see our environment depends on the size of the visual part of our brain.

We are all familiar with the idea that our thoughts and emotions differ from one person to another, but most people assume that how we perceive the visual world is usually very similar from person to person. However, the primary visual cortex – the area at the back of the brain responsible for processing what we see in the world around us – is known to differ in size by up to three times from one individual to the next.


 
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2nd December 2010
New brain imaging tests to track Huntington’s
 
A range of new clinical, functional, and neuroimaging tests developed by researchers at UCL make it possible to track the progression of Huntington’s disease long before noticeable symptoms appear.

 
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18th October 2010
Parkinson's UK Fellowship Award
 
Dr Patrick Lewis (UCL Institute of Neurology) had been awarded a Parkinson's UK career development fellowship to study the molecular impact of mutations in LRRK2, which constitute the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's disease.

 
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8th October 2010
UCL scientist lands £329k funding boost from dementia research charity
 
Scientists in the IoN Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, (UCL Institute of Neurology) Dementia Research Centre are beginning an important study to shed new light on the workings of a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease, made possible by a major grant from the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, the UK’s leading dementia research charity.

 
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8th October 2010
World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Neurosciences
 
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has renewed the IoN Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy (UCL Institute of Neurology) designation as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Neurosciences.
 
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1st October 2010
Study links cannabis strains with memory impairment
 
People who smoke potent strains of cannabis that are low in cannabidiol (such as skunk) are putting themselves at far greater risk of acute memory loss than people who smoke other types of the drug, according to new research published in the October issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.


 
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17th September 2010
UCL reaps one-third of new Alzheimer's Society research grants
 
UCL has received a total of nearly £500,000 funding for three dementia research projects from the Alzheimer's Society and Bupa, representing one-third of all projects funded in this round.

 
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13th September 2010
Developing a cell library resource for dementia research
 
Professor Martin Rossor (Department of Neurodegenerative Disease), and Professor John Hardy, Dr Selina Wray and Dr Patrick Lewis (Department of Molecular Neuroscience) have been awarded a grant by the Alzheimer's Society and BUPA to set up a new cell library (biobank) for inherited dementia patient cells.
 
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7th September 2010
Mother's care is key to a big brain
 
The evolution of big-brained mammals may be due to maternal investment, rather than metabolism according to a new study by scientists at UCL (University College London) and the University of Cambridge.
 
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26th August 2010
Lizard venom offers hope for Parkinson's disease patients
 
The saliva of a venomous lizard native to southwestern America and Mexico could provide a cure for patients with Parkinson's disease.
 
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19th August 2010
Carers need help before dementia diagnosis
 
One of the most difficult times when caring for a friend or family member with dementia is the period before diagnosis, according to new research led by UCL and published online today in the British Medical Journal.
 
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30th July 2010
UCL rated as one of top 5 in Europe for psychiatry and psychology
 
UCL has been rated as one of the top five institutions in psychiatry and psychology in Europe, according to Thomson Reuters.

The University's performance in these fields has also been rated as 27th in the world.

The rankings, produced by Thomson Reuters from its essential science indicators, assessed the scientific impact of research outputs over the last ten years.

The company say the indicators allow people to determine: ‘the influential individuals, institutions, papers, publications, and countries in their field of study — as well as emerging research areas that could impact their work.’

Between 2000 and 2010 UCL produced 2,474 papers related to psychology and psychiatry, with these being cited nearly 40,000 times.

Other institutions making the top five in Europe include: University of Cambridge; University of Oxford; the Max Plank Society; and King’s College London.
 
13th July 2010
Doctors 'must lead fight against inequality and injustice'
 
The UCL professor elected as the new president of the British Medical Association (BMA) has issued a rallying cry to doctors to lead the fight against health inequalities and social injustice.

He quoted the Chilean writer Pablo Neruda as he called on his BMA colleagues to 'rise up against the organisation of misery'.
 
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24th June 2010
Parkinson’s patients’ “risky behaviour” explained
 
Scientists at UCL have explained Parkinson’s patients’ risky behaviour, a rare side effect of standard treatments for the disease. The finding has implications for future medication of patients.
 
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22nd June 2010
UCL student awarded prize for essay on disfigurement
 
A UCL Medical School student has won the Changing Faces’ annual essay competition open to health professionals, postgraduates and undergraduates on the theme of coping with disfigurement.
 
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17th June 2010
Greater social equality is ‘the key to wellbeing’
 
The prevalence of negative health and social factors in developed nations is highest where wealth is distributed unequally.
 
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7th June 2010
Link found between passive smoking and poorer mental health
 
Second-hand smoke exposure is associated with psychological distress and risk of future psychiatric illness, according to new UCL research that suggests the harmful affects of passive smoking go beyond physical health.
 
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7th June 2010
UCL scientists research the effect of fright on the brain
 
UCL scientists are involved in an ambitious £1.6m research programme to determine how children’s exposure to frightening experiences or neglect affects the development of their brains and potentially makes them prone to violent outbursts.
 
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2nd June 2010
Ability to concentrate improves during adolescence
 
The ability to direct our attention and ignore distractions is a skill that improves during adolescence possibly due to underlying changes in the brain, according to new UCL research.
 
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28th May 2010
The global burden of mental health disorders
 
Sixty-six percent of people with dementia live in low- and middle-income countries, but only ten percent of population-based research is carried out in these areas, according to Professor Steve Iliffe (UCL Primary Care & Population Health).
 
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21st May 2010
Ray Dolan elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society
 
Professor Ray Dolan, Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience has been elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society, it was announced today.
 
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