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News Category: Functional Neurosciences

World first for robot eye operation

Surgeons at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital have performed the world’s first operation inside the eye using a robot. Robert MacLaren, Professor of Ophthalmology assisted by Dr Thomas Edwards, Nuffield Medical Fellow, used the remotely controlled robot to lift a membrane 100th of a millimetre thick from the retina at the back of the right eye … Read more

Students learn about John Radcliffe brain research

Students pursuing a career in science and medicine visited Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital in an event supported by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). A total 24 students aged 16 to 32 attended talks and interactive sessions on BRC-supported research by the University of Oxford on August 4. India’s Rehmat Kang, 17, tried on … Read more

Sleep deprivation could reduce intrusive memories of trauma

A good night’s sleep has long been recommended to those who have experienced a traumatic event but an Oxford University-led study provides preliminary experimental work suggesting it could actually be the wrong thing to do. Sleep deprivation might prevent people from consolidating memories of experimental trauma, reducing their tendency to experience flashbacks, according to a … Read more

Personalised brain stimulation could improve life for Parkinson’s sufferers

Researchers in Oxford have made a landmark breakthrough towards improving the treatment of advanced Parkinson’s disease. The Oxford University team based at the John Radcliffe Hospital has successfully trialled an advanced deep brain stimulation system that actively detects and responds to a patient’s brainwaves to reduce symptoms. This personalised system, using a brain-computer interface, proved … Read more

Discover the a to zzzs of the brain

To celebrate  Brain Awareness Week (March 11 to 15), researchers from the Oxford Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute are hosting a series of  activities, displays, talks on the subject of Sleep and the Brain. A crack team of neuroscientists will take over the Museum of the History of Science’s Basement Gallery on Tuesday March 12, … Read more

Amputee phantom pain linked to brain retaining picture of missing limb

Changes in the brain following amputation have been linked to pain arising from the missing limb, called ‘phantom pain’, in a study supported by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre. Arm amputees experiencing the most phantom limb pain were found to maintain stronger representation of the missing hand in the brain – to the point … Read more

New hope for those with Parkinson’s tremors

A NEW brain stimulation therapy could help supress tremors in people with Parkinson’s disease, according to new research. The non-invasive technique has been pioneered by researchers supported by  the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, a collaboration between Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and Oxford University to accelerate healthcare innovation. The … Read more

Cannabis pain relief is variable

The pain relief offered by cannabis varies greatly between individuals, a brain imaging study supported by Oxford Biomedical Research Centre suggests. The researchers found that an oral tablet of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, tended to make the experience of pain more bearable, rather than actually reduce the intensity of the pain. MRI brain … Read more

Treating sleep problems may be important in schizophrenia

A study of schizophrenia patients has found profound disruptions in their sleep patterns, with half also having irregular body clocks that are out of synch with the pattern of night and day. The Oxford researchers argue that the extent and severe nature of these long-term sleep problems should be considered for treatment along with the … Read more

Stroke feature: restructuring the brain

A Wellcome Trust article highlights the work of Professor Heidi Johansen-Berg at the University of Oxford and her research exploring the structural changes in the brain’s white and grey matter that underlie learning. Understanding the precise cellular nature of those changes may improve diagnosis of brain damage and therapeutic interventions in stroke. Modern neuroscience supports the notion that our … Read more

Do you dance like your Dad?

A brain chemical called GABA is the reason why “some people dance like Fred Astaire – while others have the natural rhythm of Ann Widdecombe”, the Daily Mail has reported. The news is based on a study involving 12 healthy young adults who had their brains stimulated with electrodes to alter levels of GABA, one … Read more