UCL News


Clinical Neuroscience Centre unveiled

6 October 2008


ion.ucl.ac.uk/national_hospital/national_hospital.htm" target="_self">UCL Institute of Neurology
  • The National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery
  • National Hospital Development Foundation
  • A UCL-funded £26m state-of-the-art centre for neuroscience treatment and research was unveiled yesterday.

    HRH The Princess Royal, chancellor of the University of London, officially opened the seven-story Clinical Neuroscience Centre at 33 Queen Square.

    The centre is a partnership between the UCL Institute of Neurology and the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, part of University College Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

    The development was part-funded by the National Hospital Development Foundation, which provided £8m of the investment needed.

    Researchers and clinicians from both institutions will now be brought under one roof at the centre, which will house both outpatient services and research facilities.

    The centre will promote world-class treatment of conditions such as epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, strokes and brain tumours.

    At its core will be an Advanced Neuroimaging Suite, featuring three specialist MRI scanners and an Interventional MRI BrainSuite system, which provides an angiography, MRI and surgical facility. This system, unique to the UK, provides real time scanning of the brain and spine during surgery and will offer innovative treatments to patients with complex neurological conditions.

    Professor Tarek Yousry of the UCL Institute of Neurology explained: "When operating on patients with brain tumours, we scan before surgery to see the location and size of the tumour.

    "However, during surgery the brain will naturally move. The scanner design means we can interrupt the surgery without closing the operation site and move the patient a short distance to re-scan.

    "We hope that this will lead to a significant improvement in outcomes for patients. We'll also be using the scanners to address important research questions."

    The £6m scanners were provided through the National Hospital Development Foundation, with generous support from the Wolfson Foundation.

    The centre also houses the Functional Neurosurgery Unit to treat patients with advanced Parkinson's disease and dystonia using Deep Brain Stimulation, a surgical technique to correct abnormal function in brain circuits that control movement.
    Located in the basement of the building is a new 200-seat lecture theatre to be used for teaching and specialist short courses.

    Professor Alan Thompson, director of the UCL Institute of Neurology and consultant neurologist at NHNN, said: "The Clinical Neurosciences Centre symbolises what the partnership is all about - bringing together world class research which translates into improved clinical care, all underpinned by the very best education."

    Theresa Dauncey, chief executive of the National Hospital Development Foundation, added: " The support of so many individuals and organisations, including a number of patients, has helped to ensure that the projects could be ambitious and that the facilities provided are the best possible."