The Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (CCBS) was established in 2004. It is a multidisciplinary translational "centre without walls" combining basic and applied research to study the causes, consequences and treatment of major brain disorders. Our major disease targets, that straddle the disciplines of Neurology and Psychiatry, include: bipolar disorders, brain cancer, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, prion disease, schizophrenia, stroke and epilepsy.
Television and radio coverage for brain cooling in stroke
Television and radio stations have been reporting how Prof Malcolm Macleod is testing whether cooling the brain can help stroke patients.
Prof Macleod is leading a trial testing a new device, Brain Cool, which is designed to cool the blood in a patients neck and therefore cool the blood reaching the brain. They are testing whether this could help treat people suffering a stroke and, if successful, could lead to brain-cooling treatment being available in ambulances.
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New Edinburgh-India partnership to tackle brain disorders
A major new initiative in neuroscience between the University of Edinburgh and the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem), Bangalore, was inaugurated by the Principal, Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea, on 16th February. The new Centre for Brain Development and Repair will be supported by the Indian Department of Biotechnology. The team, which includes Profs Siddharthan Chandran (CCBS), Peter Kind (CIP) and Richard Morris (CCNS), will involve scientists working on joint projects in Bangalore and Edinburgh. The initial focus of this new joint Centre will be on autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities. See the news item on the inStem website at http://instem.res.in/research/center-for-brain-development-and-repair
The announcement comes as part of a wider UK-India partnership announced today by the Prime Minister (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21495635)
Human Brain Project wins major EU funding
On January 28, the European Commission announced that it has selected the Human Brain Project (HBP) as one of two projects to be funded through the new FET Flagship Program.
The goal of the HBP is to pull together all our existing knowledge about the human brain and to reconstruct the brain, piece by piece, in supercomputer-based models and simulations. The models offer the prospect of a new understanding of the human brain and its diseases and of completely new computing and robotic technologies.
The project will involved 80 European and international research institutions. It will take 10 years and is estimated to cost 1.19 billion Euros.
Professor Seth Grant of Clinical Neurosciences, CCBS, is leading the molecular research of the HBP. Professor Grant said "We will be deciphering the molecular structure of the human brain and mapping the circuits of nerve cells. This will provide the foundation for supercomputer models of the human brain and the design of computer chips and robots."
For the full story please see: http://www.ed.ac.uk/news/2013/brain-280113
Origin of intelligence and mental illness linked to ancient genetic accident
Professor Seth Grant and collaborators have published a study that reveals how humans - and other mammals - have evolved to have intelligence.
The researchers have identified the moment in history when the genes that enabled us to think and reason evolved. This point 500 million years ago provided our ability to learn complex skills, analyse situations and have flexibility in the way in which we think.
The research, which is detailed in two papers in Nature Neuroscience, also shows a direct link between the evolution of behaviour and the origins of brain diseases.
The researchers suggest that a simple invertebrate animal living in the sea 500 million years ago experienced a 'genetic accident', which resulted in extra copies of the Dlg genes being made. This animal's descendants benefited from these extra genes, leading to behaviourally sophisticated vertebrates - including humans.
The research team studied the mental abilities of mice and humans, using comparative tasks that involved identifying objects on touch-screen computers. They then combined the results of these behavioural tests with information from the genetic codes of various species to work out when different behaviours evolved. They found that higher mental functions in humans and mice were controlled by the same genes.
The study also showed that when these genes were mutated or damaged, they impaired higher mental functions.
"Our work shows that the price of higher intelligence and more complex behaviours is more mental illness," said Professor Grant.
Statistical analysis plan for the third International Stroke Trial (IST-3); part of a 'thread' of reports of the trial. Sandercock P, Lindley R, Wardlaw J, Whiteley W, Murray G; ST-3 collaborative group. Int J Stroke. 2012 Apr;7(3):186-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4949.2012.00782.x.
Recognition of mental incapacity when consenting patients with intracranial tumours for surgery: how well are we doing? Kerrigan S, Dengu F, Erridge S, Grant R, Whittle IR. Br J Neurosurg. 2012 Feb;26(1):28-31. Epub 2011 Aug 4.
Mutant induced pluripotent stem cell lines recapitulate aspects of TDP-43 proteinopathies and reveal cell-specific vulnerability. Bilican B, Serio A, Barmada SJ, Lumi Nishimura A, Sullivan GJ, Carrasco M, Phatnani HP, Puddifoot CA, Story D, Fletcher J, Park I-H, Friedman BA, Daley GQ, Wyllie DJA, Hardingham GE, Wilmut I, Finkbeiner S, Maniatis T, Shaw CE and Chandran S. PNAS 2012; published ahead of print March 26, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1202922109/
Effects of a mis-sense DISC1 variant on brain activation in two cohorts at high risk of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Whalley HC, Sussmann JE,Johnstone M, Romaniuk L, Redpath H, Chakirova G, Mukherjee P, Hall J,Johnstone EC, Lawrie SM, McIntosh AM. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet.2012 Apr;159B(3):343-53. doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.32035. Epub 2012 Feb 15.
Untreated clinical course of cerebral cavernous malformations: a prospective, population-based cohort study. Salman RA, Hall JM, Horne MA,Moultrie F, Josephson CB, Bhattacharya JJ, Counsell CE, Murray GD,Papanastassiou V, Ritchie V, Roberts RC, Sellar RJ, Warlow CP; for the Scottish Audit of Intracranial Vascular Malformations (SAIVMs) Collaborators. Lancet Neurol. 2012 Mar;11(3):217-224. Epub 2012 Jan 31.