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  • The spatial correspondence and genetic influence of inter-hemispheric connectivity with white matter microstructure

    6 February 2019

    <jats:p>Microscopic features (i.e., microstructure) of axons affect neural circuit activity through characteristics such as conduction speed. Deeper understanding of structure-function relationships and translating this into human neuroscience has been limited by the paucity of studies relating axonal microstructure in white matter pathways to functional connectivity (synchrony) between macroscopic brain regions. Using magnetic resonance imaging data in 11354 subjects, we constructed multi-variate models that predict the functional connectivity of pairs of brain regions from the microstructural signature of white matter pathways that connect them. Microstructure-derived models provide predictions of functional connectivity that were significant in up to 86% of the brain region pairs considered. These relationships are specific to the relevant white matter pathway and have high reproducibility. The microstructure-function relationships are associated to genetic variants (single-nucleotide polymorphisms), co-located with genes DAAM1 and LPAR1, that have previously been reported to play a role in neural development. Our results demonstrate that variation in white matter microstructure across individuals consistently and specifically predicts functional connectivity, and that this relationship is underpinned by genetic variability.</jats:p>

  • Extending the Human Connectome Project across ages: Imaging protocols for the Lifespan Development and Aging projects.

    7 November 2018

    The Human Connectome Projects in Development (HCP-D) and Aging (HCP-A) are two large-scale brain imaging studies that will extend the recently completed HCP Young-Adult (HCP-YA) project to nearly the full lifespan, collecting structural, resting-state fMRI, task-fMRI, diffusion, and perfusion MRI in participants from 5 to 100+ years of age. HCP-D is enrolling 1300+ healthy children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 5-21), and HCP-A is enrolling 1200+ healthy adults (ages 36-100+), with each study collecting longitudinal data in a subset of individuals at particular age ranges. The imaging protocols of the HCP-D and HCP-A studies are very similar, differing primarily in the selection of different task-fMRI paradigms. We strove to harmonize the imaging protocol to the greatest extent feasible with the completed HCP-YA (1200+ participants, aged 22-35), but some imaging-related changes were motivated or necessitated by hardware changes, the need to reduce the total amount of scanning per participant, and/or the additional challenges of working with young and elderly populations. Here, we provide an overview of the common HCP-D/A imaging protocol including data and rationales for protocol decisions and changes relative to HCP-YA. The result will be a large, rich, multi-modal, and freely available set of consistently acquired data for use by the scientific community to investigate and define normative developmental and aging related changes in the healthy human brain.

  • Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibody-associated disease: practical considerations.

    17 December 2018

    The field of central nervous system (CNS) inflammatory diseases has recently broadened to include a new condition associated with pathogenic serum antibodies against myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG). This is distinct from multiple sclerosis (MS) and aquaporin-4 (AQP4) antibody neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD). MOG antibody-associated disease phenotypes are varied and range from classical neuromyelitis optica to acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis and cortical encephalitis. The diagnosis depends on using a reliable, specific and sensitive assay of the antibody. Clinical and imaging features of MOG-associated syndromes overlap with AQP4 antibody NMOSD but can be usually distinguished from MS: in particular, the silent lesions typical of MS that progressively increase lesion volume are rare in MOG antibody disease. The disease can relapse but medium-term immunosuppression appears to be protective. Permanent disability, particularly severe ambulatory and visual disability, is less frequent than in AQP4 antibody NMOSD and usually results from the onset attack. However, sphincter and sexual dysfunction after a transverse myelitis is common. Here we review the practical aspects of diagnosing and managing a patient with MOG antibody-associated disease.

  • Oxford Subarachnoid Haemorrhage Research Group

    6 June 2017


    Our group aims to achieve a better understanding of what happens in the brains of patients who have just had a subarachnoid haemorrhage, which is a type of stroke.

  • Experimental and Clinical Sleep Medicine

    22 February 2018

    Professor Colin Espie is the Director, and Dr. Simon Kyle the Deputy Director, of the Experimental and Clinical Sleep Medicine group with the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, University of Oxford. We conduct human experimental and clinical studies on sleep and disorders of sleep with the aim of understanding their pathophysiology and in the mechanisms of action of treatments. Our research is supported by numerous national and international funders, including the Wellcome Trust, NIHR, Swiss National Science Foundation, Education Endowment Fund, and the Dr. Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, amongst others.

  • Action, Cognition & Neurotherapeutics

    10 June 2015


    We aim to understand processes of selective attention and action, learning and memory in the human brain. Through experiments in healthy volunteers and patients with brain disorders we seek to characterize how information processing networks respond (adaptively or maladaptively) when challenged by interference. Our motivation is to develop rational neurocognitive intervention strategies to help promote recovery from conditions such as depression and brain injury.

  • pain & mind

    11 August 2016


    Beliefs shape our perception of pain. Using non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging in humans, we investigate how beliefs are generated, maintained and revised in the brain and how they influence pain perception.

  • Diagnostic and Advisory Service for Neuromyelitis Optica

    15 January 2013


    Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a rare disease causing inflammation in the spinal cord and optic nerves. The NMO service brings together expertise in diagnostics and clinical management to improve outcomes for this often isolated group of patients.

  • Autoimmune Neurology Group

    18 June 2014


    Research, diagnostic and testing service of autoantibodies associated with neurological diseases.

  • Oxford Centre for Neuroinflammation

    22 February 2018


    We bring together biomedical, analytical and clinical expertise to shed new light on the causes that underpin neurodegenerative diseases.

  • WIN Neuroplastics network

    15 January 2013


    Neuroplastics is a collaborative network of three research groups at WIN with a shared interest in brain plasticity. We study how the brain changes when we learn, as we get older, or when we recover from damage such as stroke. We use brain imaging to monitor brain change and we aim to develop new approaches to facilitate learning, recovery and healthy ageing.

  • Neuropathology

    15 January 2013


    Neuropathology is at the interface of clinical and basic neurosciences.