Neurological disease is becoming increasingly prevalent in the West as populations age. This compromises the everyday activities and quality of life for many, and costs the UK economy an estimated £20 billion every year.

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) and the University of Birmingham have an international reputation for research in this area, and aim to enhance patient treatment, from diagnosis and countering through to novel interventions.

This work addresses neurological and behavioural deficits associated with degenerative change and cognitive decline, such as:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • motor neurone disease
  • multiple sclerosis
  • degenerative problems associated with stroke

The researchers at both UHB and the university are carrying out ongoing work to understand the role of systemic change along with disease-related pathology in degenerative disease and the development of new biomarkers and roll-out of novel interventions for clinical practice.

Basic science

The close relationship between the University of Birmingham and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) plays a major role in enabling research into the basic science of neurological conditions.


A number of important trials are under way at QEHB involving the University of Birmimgham, covering a range of different conditions.

Stroke is a major cause of death in Britain, and important research is being done on this condition by Professor Cath Sackley, Professor Glyn Humphreys and Dr Don Sims.

Parkinson’s disease is an important area of research, with work being done by Professor Mark Wheatley, Professor Adrian Williams and Professor Carl Clarke.

Dr John Woolmore leads research on multiple sclerosis, and Dr Karen Morrison is highly active in motor neurone disease. She is leading on the Trust’s work with the Motor Neurone Disease Association’s DNA Bank.

Drug reactions

Dr Dougall McCorry is carrying out Medical Research Council (MRC)-funded research into the molecular genetics of idiosyncratic adverse drug reactions.

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