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

    12 December 2018

    <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.

  • Sleep- and Wake-Like States in Small Networks In Vivo and In Vitro.

    27 November 2018

    Wakefulness and sleep are highly complex and heterogeneous processes, involving multiple neurotransmitter systems and a sophisticated interplay between global and local networks of neurons and non-neuronal cells. Macroscopic approaches applied at the level of the whole organism, view sleep as a global behaviour and allow for investigation into aspects such as the effects of insufficient or disrupted sleep on cognitive function, metabolism, thermoregulation and sensory processing. While significant progress has been achieved using such large-scale approaches, the inherent complexity of sleep-wake regulation has necessitated the development of methods which tackle specific aspects of sleep in isolation. One way this may be achieved is by investigating specific cellular or molecular phenomena in the whole organism in situ, either during spontaneous or induced sleep-wake states. This approach has greatly advanced our knowledge about the electrophysiology and pharmacology of ion channels, specific receptors, intracellular pathways and the small networks implicated in the control and regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. Importantly though, there are a variety of external and internal factors that influence global behavioural states which are difficult to control for using these approaches. For this reason, over the last few decades, ex vivo experimental models have become increasingly popular and have greatly advanced our understanding of many fundamental aspects of sleep, including the neuroanatomy and neurochemistry of sleep states, sleep regulation, the origin and dynamics of specific sleep oscillations, network homeostasis as well as the functional roles of sleep. This chapter will focus on the use of small neuronal networks as experimental models and will highlight the most significant and novel insights these approaches have provided.

  • An intervention to improve sleep for people living with dementia: Reflections on the development and co-production of DREAMS:START (Dementia RElAted Manual for Sleep: STrAtegies for RelaTives).

    27 November 2018

    Many people living with dementia experience sleep disturbances yet there are currently no known effective, safe and acceptable treatments. Working with those affected by dementia to co-produce interventions is increasingly promoted to ensure that approaches are fit for purpose and meet the specific needs of target groups. Our aim here is to outline and reflect upon the co-production of Dementia RElAted Manual for Sleep; STrAtegies for RelaTives (DREAMS:START), an intervention to improve sleep for people living with dementia. Our co-production team brought together experts in the development and testing of manualised interventions in dementia care and cognitive behavioural interventions for sleep disorders, with Alzheimer's Society research network volunteers (ASRNVs) whose lives had been affected by dementia. Here we present the process of intervention development. We worked with (ASRNVs) at each stage of the process bringing together 'experts by training' and 'experts by experience'. (ASRNVs)shared their experiences of sleep disturbances in dementia and how they had managed these difficulties, as well as suggestions for how to overcome barriers to putting the intervention into practice; making (DREAMS:START) more accessible and usable for those in need. In this paper we discuss both the benefits and challenges to this process and what we can learn for future work. Collaborating with 'experts by experience' caring for a relative with sleep difficulties helped us to develop a complex intervention in an accessible and engaging way which we have tested and found to be feasible and acceptable in a randomised controlled trial.

  • 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.

  • Overview

    4 December 2018

  • How to apply

    4 December 2018

  • Potential Projects 2019-20

    4 December 2018

  • Courses

    19 October 2012

  • Anaesthesia in Developing Countries

    4 March 2013

    Five day International Course, Uganda. The next course is expected to run in November 2019. Please email if you would like to be notified when we open for booking.

  • Global Surgery

    27 March 2018

    This five-day course looks at the provision of surgical services at a global level, encompassing all related specialties including obstetrics, gynaecology and anaesthesia/critical care.

  • Oxford Autoimmune Neurology Meeting 2019

    28 November 2018

    The inaugural Oxford Autoimmune Neurology meeting is a two-day international meeting on 5-6 June 2019 for clinicians and scientists looking to appreciate the breadth of translational autoimmune neurology. It will cover the clinical features of CNS and PNS diseases, methodological aspects of immunological assays, applied T and B cell pathophysiology, and questions relating to immunological tolerance. By being both contemporary and highly translational, the programme will appeal to consultant and trainee neurologists plus PhD or postdoctoral level researchers who have an interest in the field of autoimmune neurology.

  • Funding

    4 December 2018

  • Neuropathology

    15 January 2013


    Neuropathology is at the interface of clinical and basic neurosciences.