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Doctor Aravinthan Varatharaj

Dr Aravinthan Varatharaj

NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Neurology

Accepting applications from PhD students.

Connect with Aravinthan


Address: Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road Shirley, SO16 6YD (View in Google Maps)


I am a neurologist. I see and treat people with diseases of the nervous system. I run a regular clinic for people with multiple sclerosis.

I am also a University lecturer and academic. My research interests include:

  • The impact of systemic infection on the brain, in particular how this affects people with neurological diseases. Systemic infections are the most common cause of hospital admission for people with neurological disease and are associated with poor outcomes. I am the Chief Investigator of the MRC-funded SIBIMS study which is looking at multiple sclerosis in particular.
  • Blood-brain barrier (BBB) health, and its measurement for research and clinical use with dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI, which I set up in Southampton. BBB disruption may explain how systemic infection and inflammation affects brain function. This technique can also help guide treatments for multiple sclerosis, and in the PEBBAL study we are investigating use in Alzheimer's disease. In the upcoming SUNLIGHT study I will be testing if we can use this for people with traumatic brain injury.
  • Neurological complications of COVID-19. I co-founded the CoroNerve Studies Group which led the first nationwide surveillance programme for neurological complications of COVID-19.
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