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DCN is a clinical department that seeks to integrate high class clinical care with research. We straddle the University of Edinburgh and teaching hospitals (Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Western General Hospital) campus and combine patient driven research, large-scale international trials and laboratory research around five main areas; Stroke, Prion disease, Brain Imaging, Neuro-oncology and Regenerative Neurology (focussed on multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease).

DCN is a division within the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences.

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CCBS PhD Programme now recruiting for 2014: Click Here

Events & Announcements

Edinburgh receiving large slice of funding from MRC UK Dementias Research Platform

Edinburgh receiving large slice of funding from MRC UK Dementias Research Platform

12 December 2013

The Medical Research Council (MRC) yesterday announced a £5M programme to accelerate progress in dementias research. Launching in April 2014, the MRC UK Dementias Research Platform (UKDP) is a public-private partnership that will unite a wealth of partners and knowledge in a fresh drive to understand neurodegenerative disease onset and progression. The Platform will combine a broad conceptual approach with cutting-edge technologies and significant statistical power, integrating UK strengths in neuroscience, population science and clinical research capability.

Approximately £1.5M is ear-marked for Edinburgh researchers Cathie Sudlow (CCBS), Ian Deary (CCACE and CCBS), John Starr (CCACE and CCBS) and Jean Manson (Roslin and CCBS). £1M will be to lead work on the identification and adjudication of dementia and related neurodegenerative outcomes; £0.5M will be for cognitive re-assessment in the UK Biobank. Many congratulations all!



Regenerating Hope: Siddharthan Chandran gives TED talk

12 June 2013

Director of the Anne Rowling Clinic Siddharthan Chandran has given a talk at TEDGlobal 2013 today on the theme of "Regeneration".

Siddharthan Chandran's TED talkIn his talk, "Regenerating Hope", Siddharthan described his vision for using stem cells to repair brains damaged by neurodegenerative disease.

See a description of his talk and more images at:


Clots Trial Results

Clots Trial Results

Clots Trial results coverage from the BBC can be found: Here


Television and radio coverage for brain cooling in stroke

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.

The following links are active until Thursday.

For BBC 1 Scotland: Click here to access streaming

For Scottish Television: Click here to access streaming

For BBC Radio Scotland: Click here to access streaming

Human Brain Project wins major EU funding

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:

Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic Launch Symposium

Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic Launch Symposium

After more than two years of planning and construction, the University of Edinburgh's new Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic building is now complete. The establishment of this unique, purpose-built facility was made possible by a substantial gift from the Harry Potter author, JK Rowling. The Clinic will provide a dedicated space to undertake clinical research to develop regenerative therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. They will celebrate this important event with a scientific symposium entitled, The Clinical Science of Regenerative Neurology. The meeting will take place on 30th & 31st May 2013, at Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh. The symposium will bring together world-leading experts in translational neuroscience to discuss how to take cutting-edge stem cell biology and regenerative neurology to the clinic. Topics include disease modelling, genetics, neurobiology and neuroimaging. more info:

Edinburgh Neuroscience Public Christmas Lecture

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.

See the two papers in Nature Neuroscience: Nithianantharajah et al. and Ryan et al.

Personal Chair: Malcolm Macloed

Personal Chair: Malcolm Macloed

Malcolm Macleod has been made a Personal Chair in Neurology and Translational Neuroscience.

Personal Chair: Gillian Mead

Personal Chair: Gillian Mead

Gillian Mead has been made a Personal Chair in Stroke and Elderly Care Medicine.

Award for Peter Sandercock

Award for Peter Sandercock

Congratulations to Prof Peter Sandercock (Professor of Medical Neurology), who has been awarded the World Stroke Association President's Award for Services to Stroke. The award will be officially handed over during a ceremony at the WSO meeting in Brazil in October, when Peter will be giving a prize talk