Postdoctoral Research Assistant
I work in the Neurometrology Research Group on the OxQUIP (Oxford QUantification In Parkinsonism) study. We are recruiting patients with Parkinson's Disease and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Currently available treatments for these diseases are symptomatic only, and do not have any preventive or disease-slowing effect. As new drugs are developed, we need to be able to evaluate them quickly, so that precious time and resources can be devoted to those showing most promise.
This study follows participants intensively over a two year period, with the aim of identifying measures that can detect disease progression over much shorter time periods than is possible at present.
During the study participants are asked to perform simple tasks while we measure movements of the eyes, hands and body. We also do some tasks on a tablet computer that measure cognitive performance.
FMRIB Vision Group
I worked on developing a novel rehabilitative therapy for people with vision problems after stroke. Individuals with brain injury affecting the primary visual cortex in the occipital lobe have areas of their visual field where they are 'blind', but often have some spared ability to see motion in these areas. This is thought to be because the motion areas of the brain is not in the occipital lobe, but is placed more temporally, and is therefore spared from the injury. My research aims to train and develop residual vision in order to improve patient quality of life.
In order to develop this therapy, I trialled an initial version in healthy subjects. My participants underwent five days of motion perception training, which involved completing a computer-based task. I used fMRI to detect and localise changes in the brain to determine the involvement of the primary visual cortex and the motion areas of the brain following learning.