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Centre for Neurorehabilitation
The focus of this Group is clinical research with a strong translational element facilitated by excellent collaborations within the Institute of Neurology, UCL (Department of Neuroinflammation [MS NMR Unit], Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders), and externally. Studies of the mechanisms, measurement and management of neurological disability are carried out within the MS NMR Unit, with Professors David Miller, Maria Ron and Tarek Yousry; in the Neurological Outcome Measures Unit , with Dr Jeremy Hobart and Dr Stefan Cano; and in the Neurorehabilitation Unit (NRU) with Drs Diane Playford, Val Stevenson and Jenny Freeman. Activities of this section are being supported by a programme grant from the MS Society, and other funding from the MS Society, Wellcome Trust and De Laszlo Foundation. The Group has been strengthened by the award of a Wellcome Trust Advanced Clinical Fellowship to Dr Olga Ciccarelli and a new lectureship, in collaboration with the Peninsula Medical School, in Neurological Outcome Measurement: the first such lectureship in the UK. Studies of the mechanisms underlying disability are focused mainly on MS, stroke and motor neurone disease and utilize both structural and fMRI. Within MS, Dr Olga Ciccarelli is leading the studies looking at the mechanisms of damage in acute lesions affecting the motor tracts and, in particular, the effect they have on the axons that traverse them. Dr Tom Jenkins is studying the structural/functional relationship following optic neuritis, continuing the studies of Dr Ahmed Toosy. In addition, our Group’s particular interest in the early primary progressive phase has entered its most interesting stage with the three-year follow-up of a unique cohort of patients with early disease. This study, led by Drs Jaume Sastre-Garriga and Zhaleh Khaleeli, provides new insights into the mechanisms underlying disease progression in MS. Collaborative studies in the imaging of stroke recovery are being lead by Dr Nick Ward (Wellcome Trust Advanced Fellow). Drs Nick Ward, Diane Playford and Richard Greenwood have established an Institute for Restorative and Rehabilitation Neuroscience (http://www.irrn.ucl.ac.uk), which is a cross-departmental group linking researchers with an interest in the mechanisms of functional recovery in neurological disease.
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