First of Its Kind Neuroscience Research at Keele University and UHNM


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Posted on 01 November 2016

A grant for £20,000 has been awarded to researchers at University Hospital North Midlands (UHNM) and Keele University by the North Staffordshire Medical Institute, to fund a first of its kind Neurosciences research study.

The innovative study will look at whether sections of the human brain, removed during surgery, can be used for testing clinical therapies. Currently, these therapies are tested on animal models. However, this has been shown to give poor predictions for human responses.

This study will see the UHNM Neurosurgery Department and Neural Tissue Engineering group at Keele University working together for the first time, in an exciting partnership which could result in high-impact research findings.

It is hoped that the results of this study will provide a medically relevant way of testing therapies before clinical trials begin, whilst also reducing the use of animals for research. Researchers will introduce an injury to the brain tissue, to replicate debilitating neurological conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis and other central nervous system disorders, on which they will then be able to test new therapies.

Mr Jon Sen, Neurosurgery Registrar at the Trust, said: "We in the Neurosurgery Department at UHNM have had no interaction with Keele Neural Tissue Engineering before, but this is developing into a very exciting collaboration."

Prof. Divya Chari, Professor of Neural Tissue Engineering at Keele University and Principal Investigator for this trial, said:

"We are very grateful to the North Staffordshire Medical Institute for funding this pilot study.

"Currently, an estimated 95% of therapies entering clinical trials are unsuccessful, due to either unpredicted toxicity or the inability to reproduce effectiveness in humans. If this study is successful, refinement of models such as this could ensure rapid progression of effective and safe therapies for central nervous system disorders without reliance on animals."

The funding for this project was won as part of the 2015 North Staffordshire Medical Institute annual research awards. The team was in attendance at a presentation event on Thursday, 20th October to receive its award.

Original article taken from UHNM Research News Website 


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