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Neuroscience & Degenerative Diseases

Neuroscience and degenerative diseases provides interdisciplinary collaboration opportunities for research and development at the interface of Biology, Medicine, Health and Social Sciences, Psychology, Engineering and Computer Sciences.


Neuroscience and degenerative diseases represent European and global priority areas for strategic investment and development of collaborative projects, particularly those at the interface between Biology, Medicine and Engineering. The latter engages world-class expertise at Southampton in the field of Computing, Signal Processing, Hybrid Biodevices, Microfluidics, Imaging and Optoelectronics.


This theme incorporates research in the following areas:

i) Development of the central nervous system:

Identifying the impact of in utero influences on the developing brain, and those that extend into later life.

ii) Neuroimmunology:

Understanding the interaction between the immune system and the brain encompassing the neurobiology of sickness behaviour and neurological disorders.

iii) Ageing:

Understanding the sociological, psychological, biological implications of ageing and promoting active healthy ageing.

iV) Living well:

The impact of environment on performance, psychological adjustment and well being.

v) Neurodegeneration:

Understanding the causes and mechanisms that underline the pathology and clinical spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases for whom there are currently no efficient treatments.


Southampton Neuroscience Group of researchers (SoNG) is one of the mechanisms by which the following thematic areas such as synaptic signalling and plasticity, affective, behavioural and cognitive neuroscience, are addressed in an interdisciplinary manner.

For more information about the Neuroscience theme please contact the theme leads below:

Related Staff Member

Related Staff Member

Neuroscience at Southampton

Dr Roxana Carare and Dr Diego Gomez-Nicola give an overview of the IfLS and SoNG Conferences 2014

Southampton Neuroscience

IfLS Conference: Dementia 2014

The IfLS Conference, September 2014 had the theme of Dementia.  The aim of the conference was to showcase the value of interdisciplinary research in the multi-factorial spectrum of dementia.  Read more 

Neuroscience at Southampton

Boosting research by working together: Read more.


An upcoming project, funded by the Dementia Consortium, will hunt for new treatments for Alzheimer's disease. Read more.

The Institute funds a cohort of interdisciplinary PhD studentships each year.  Currently, postgraduate students in this field include:

Chrysia-Maria Pegasiou

Chrysia-Maria Pegasiou

Translating knowledge from mouse to human: how does amyloid beta affect synaptic function?

Key Publications

Examples of research projects in this field are:

An artery at the surface of the brain also has Aβ in its walls. Green represents the smooth muscle within the artery wall. Blue is collagen IV immunostaining.
Plaques of amyloid-beta (Aβ,red)

Perivascular elimination of soluble Aβ from the brain 
Southampton researchers have demonstrated a new pathway for the elimination of solutes from the brain, along the basement membranes of capillaries and arteries. This pathway is now recognised as a very significant route for the clearance of Aβ from the brain. Failure of perivascular drainage of Aβ as cerebral arteries age appears to be an important factor in the aetiology of Alzheimer’s disease. With advancing age and in Alzheimer’s disease, elimination of Aβ fails and is deposited within basement membranes further impeding the elimination of Aβ and other solutes from the brain. In addition to age, possession of the ApoE4 genotype and high levels of cholesterol in the blood are major risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. The working hypothesis for the projects is that these risk factors impede elimination of Aβ and other soluble metabolites from the brain and ultimately, result in loss of homeostasis of the neuronal environment, neuronal dysfunction and cognitive decline.


Multisensory Environment in Dementia Care
Multisensory Environment

The Multisensory Environment (MSE) in dementia care study, funded by AHRC, is a collaboration with Kingston University.  The study explored the use of multisensory design in nursing homes within the south as an approach to modify mood and behaviour in people with moderate to severe dementia. The results identified approaches that were acceptable to care staff and residents in terms of usability, functionality and outcome. The results were presented at the Inside Out Festival at Somerset House as a method to reach, therapists, care staff, home managers, architects and people living with dementia. A free downloadable guide was produced to help care staff and designers in facilitating sensory design.

List of related projects to
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