The Neuroscience Institute is bringing together researchers and clinicians to understand the human brain in health and disease, address African and global health challenges, and grow African capacity in neuroscience.
Infectious diseases like HIV and TB, along with parasites, are a major cause of neurological disease in Africa. Researchers at the Neuroscience Institute are leading the fightback against these conditions.
South Africa faces an epidemic of trauma- and drug-induced brain damage and mental disorders. Neuroscience Institute researchers are working to better understand brain injury and its long-term health impacts.
This week several University of Cape Town (UCT) Faculty of Health Sciences researchers published an article in Science, one of the world’s most prestigious journals, on the genetics of schizophrenia in South Africa. “ Genetics of Schizophrenia in the South African Xhosa ” emphasises that rare genetic mutations may play an important role in the cause of the illness.
The African genome is the oldest, and as such, the most diverse in the world. But Africans have largely been under-represented in neurogenetic studies. The University of Cape Town (UCT) Neuroscience Institute is helping to change that through a range of forward-looking, international, collaborative projects on genetics and the nervous system.
Epilepsy – a disorder that causes abnormal electrical brain activity leading to recurring seizures – can affect anyone. Although daily medication can treat the condition, doctors are increasingly recommending surgery as a cure for patients who don’t respond to medical treatment. A multidisciplinary team of specialists from the University of Cape Town (UCT) is making sure that more and more patients with drug-resistant epilepsy are cured.
Dr Ursula Rohlwink joined the University of Cape Town (UCT) Division of Neurosurgery in 2009. Since then, her work has focused on children with traumatic brain injury and the neuro-infection tuberculous (TB) meningitis, which comes about when the TB bacterium infects the central nervous system’s membranes. In 2018, she was awarded one of the first fellowships of the Neuroscience Institute, and recently received a African Career Accelerator award from the Crick African Network.