The Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre is focused on translational neuroscience for chronic neurological disorders. As the population ages, more people than ever before will be affected by a neurological disease of some kind, but few effective treatments currently exist.
Why do certain diseases develop in some people but not in others?
Why do people with the same disease often progress (experience worsening symptoms) at different rates from each other?
And why do some treatments work in some people but not in others?
We aim to address these questions across neurological fields, from Dementia and Stoke, Parkinson’s and Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Gluten-Related Neurological Disorders and Ataxia.
Broadly, we will:
- Establish standardised ways of observing patient symptoms and their underlying biology
- Identify ‘biomarkers’ in patients – these are molecules or measurable signals found in the body that can act as a sign of disease, or of something abnormal going on in the body
- Develop ways for biomarkers to tell us if a patient is responding to treatment
- Categorise patients with similar biological characteristics into groups so they can receive tailored treatments and therapies
- Use all this information to develop new drugs and treatments
Biomarkers can be found not only in blood and other body fluids but they can be picked up as signals in a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan. Our Advanced Medical Imaging cross-cutting theme is working to develop non-invasive imaging techniques that can track disease changes and tell us whether a therapy is having the desired effect.