Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is a procedure used in the treatment of spasticity in children with cerebral palsy (CP). But, despite the now-common use of SDR as treatment, it is not known what the long-term outcomes are.
The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) annual Wolfson Memorial Lecture was delivered by Tom Solomon, a professor of neurology at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom (UK). He is an honorary consultant neurologist at the Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. The lecture was hosted on Tuesday, 10 March.
The launch of the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) multidisciplinary Neuroscience Centre, established to execute inter- and cross-disciplinary research and fast-track novel treatment options for neurological disorders, is an important step towards “Africanising” the vital discipline of neuroscience in South Africa.
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.
Recent growth in availability of safe and non-invasive techniques for visualising the brain has had a huge impact on how we study children’s brains. UCT researchers Professor Kirsty Donald and Professor Ernesta Meintjes explain what they have learnt about how young brains develop in high-risk contexts.
The University of Cape Town (UCT) Neuroscience Institute is designed to be comprehensive in nature and cross-cutting in function. This distinguishes it from similar institutes in the global north and makes it possible for experts in a range of fields to come together to better understand African challenges: the interplay between the brain and conditions like trauma or infection, and its consequences for brain development and function.
Dr Melissa Nel, Neuroscience Institute Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, is one of seven recipients of the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science South African National Programme awards. This initiative aims to reach and empower women scientists across Africa and serves one goal; to highlight scientific excellence of female researchers in South Africa, in order to create role models, encourage other young women to become scientists, and empower women to shape the future of the continent.
The latest issue of the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) research magazine, Umthombo, was launched at the annual research function last night, along with the year’s Research and Innovation Highlights. A collection of articles in the fourth issue of Umthombo casts a spotlight on the comprehensive and cross-cutting Neuroscience Institute, which brings together expertise in diverse fields to better understand the human brain in health and disease, address African and global health challenges, and grow local capacity in neuroscience.
A new paper published in Nature Communications by Dr Dorit Hockman, a developmental biologist based at the University of Cape Town (UCT), uses the most primitive living vertebrate – the lamprey – as a genetic time machine.
She explains how studying a specialised group of cells called the neural crest can help us understand the development of vertebrates – including ourselves.