Category Archives: New research

Using DTI to understand muscle contracture in children with Cerebral Palsy

A new study by Prof Rob Herbert and his team is investigating muscle contracture in children with cerebral palsy. Contracture is a stiffening of muscles, even when the muscle is passive. It is not yet known whether contracture is a result of changes in the muscle, changes in the associated tendon, or a combination of both. Around 53 per cent […]

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Is there a link between early life trauma and mental illness?

Epigenetics is the study of how our environment influences the expression of our genes. My group has found a link between early life experiences and attention. Exposure to traumatic experiences in the early stages of life, including abuse or neglect, parental divorce or mental illness, and poverty, are known to influence the development of some mental illnesses. These early experiences also […]

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When palpation isn’t enough: understanding soft tissue changes in children

When human tissue, such as muscles or some organs, are affected by disease, they can become stiffer (or softer) than surrounding muscle tissue. Traditionally, medical practitioners have used the palpation technique – using their hands to determine the firmness of tissue, for instance around the abdomen – to feel for changes in tissue stiffness in order to diagnose illness or […]

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New issue of NeuRA Magazine out now

The new issue of the NeuRA Magazine (#18) will arrive in people’s letterboxes this week, but if you haven’t yet signed up for it, or would prefer to read the digital version, you can go here. The issue explores in further detail the new study from Assoc Prof Olivier Piguet’s group, which has confirmed what many anecdotal stories had previously […]

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New imaging technique will help understand muscle contracture after a stroke

Cutting-edge imaging technologies are being used to understand what causes muscle contracture after a stroke and how we can improve treatments. We believe a lot of fundamental questions about muscles have yet to be answered, but that may be about to change with the use of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). DTI is an MRI-based imaging technique typically used to measure […]

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Like father… like son

Prof Rhoshel Lenroot is part of a large, multi-disciplinary team which seeks to improve the current treatments for children with conduct problems such as aggressive behaviours. Childhood conduct problems are the greatest risk factor for antisocial behaviour and violence, as well as later adult mental health issues. One of the most effective ways to treat early conduct problems is through […]

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Progesterone in MND and FTD

The role of progesterone, identified as a potential therapy for MND, is being investigated for FTD. Motor Neurone Disease (MND), also referred to as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in some countries, is just one of the clinical syndromes associated with frontotemporal dementia or FTD. Others include corticobasal syndrome and progressive supranuclear palsy syndrome with a clinical variant of FTD being […]

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Motor Neurone Disease – Shelly’s story

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a devastating brain disease that quickly and progressively destroys the ability to move, speak, swallow and breathe. MND is also referred to as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in some countries. MND is incurable. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is two to three years. Jim Demirov was a strong man who enjoyed a successful drag-racing […]

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Healthy centenarian study

National Science Week celebrates science diversity. Following a degree in Medical Science, PhD student Jessica Lazarus continues her research journey in NeuRA’s PhD program. Heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve DNA coding sequence modifications are referred to as ‘epigenetic’. DNA methylation was the first discovered epigenetic mark, and remains the most studied. I will be using DNA […]

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