Temporally patterned closed-loop stimulation for therapy of brain disorders

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford

Abstract

In Parkinson’s disease and tremor, the electrical activity in several different parts of the brain becomes abnormally rhythmic. This increase in rhythmic activity stops the brain controlling movement in a normal way.

These diseases can be treated by placing electrodes in the parts of the brain that are abnormally rhythmic and applying continuous electrical pulses. This treatment increases the amount of normal movement, but it can also cause side effects by disrupting the brains healthy activity. Our aim is to improve such brain pacemaker treatments.

We will record the rhythmic brain activity and use its features to decide when and how to stimulate in a way that will further increase normal movements and decrease side effects. Firstly, we will use the strength of rhythmic activity to decide when to turn the stimulation on and off. Secondly, we can time a pulse of electricity on a specific part of the rhythm to improve movements as efficiently as possible. This is similar to pushing someone on a swing; pushing them at one point will make them go faster, but at another will make them slow down.

We will use experiments in animal models to find the most effective and safest techniques and then test these in patients.

Technical Summary

Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Tremor can be treated using continuous high-frequency deep brain stimulation (DBS) of basal ganglia or thalamus. Both diseases are characterised by neuronal synchrony in the cortex, basal ganglia and thalamus that occurs concurrently with symptoms. In tremor, this neuronal synchronisation occurs at the same frequency as the tremulous limb. In PD, there is mounting evidence for elevated neural synchrony in the beta (~20 Hz) frequency band, and this correlates with severity of akinesia and rigidity. Our goal is to utilise this pathological activity to deliver a closed-loop brain stimulation framework that will significantly improve the treatment of these diseases. Although novel, these treatments will be tractable, based as they are on electrical stimulation that, even in its rawest forms, has already proven beneficial to tens of thousands of patients. To this end, we will develop three closed-loop strategies.

Firstly, and most simply, we will limit stimulation to those periods during which pathological activity is elevated to give adaptive high frequency DBS (aHF DBS). We have shown that acute aHF DBS affords improved therapeutic benefit in PD patients as compared to continuous stimulation. We will continue to develop this strategy in both PD and tremor patients.

Secondly, we will deliver stimulation locked to a particular point (phase) in the cycle of the underlying pathological activity to give adaptive phase locked DBS (aPL DBS). As oscillatory activity seems likely to be mechanistically important in driving symptomatology in PD and tremor, aPL DBS may be more specific and selective than conventional DBS by interacting directly with the pathological activity. We have demonstrated the potential efficacy of this strategy in tremor and will continue this work in patients. In PD, we will develop this methodology in the rat model and test the most successful protocols on patients.

The pathological oscillatory activity in these conditions is likely an emergent property of altered functional connectivity, arising across specific circuit components as a consequence of chronic disturbances in neurotransmission. To this end, for our third strategy will use spike-triggered stimulation to progressively and selectively weaken or strengthen key connectivities over time to rebalance networks and ameliorate disease related impairment. These experiments will be carried out using animal models, to allow flexibility in stimulation protocols and the examination of structural changes in connectivity.

Our approaches are intended to be generic and applicable to other brain targets and diseases, and eventually implementable by alternative, more selective forms of stimulation, when these become suitable for use in patients.

Publications

10 25 50
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Abdi A (2015) Prototypic and arkypallidal neurons in the dopamine-intact external globus pallidus. in The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

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Anzak A (2015) Excessive neural synchrony in Machado-Joseph disease responsive to subthalamic nucleus stimulation. in Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society

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Aron AR (2016) Frontosubthalamic Circuits for Control of Action and Cognition. in The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

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Beudel M (2015) Tremor Reduction by Deep Brain Stimulation Is Associated With Gamma Power Suppression in Parkinson's Disease. in Neuromodulation : journal of the International Neuromodulation Society

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Brittain JS (2015) Distinguishing the central drive to tremor in Parkinson's disease and essential tremor. in The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

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Cagnan H (2017) Stimulating at the right time: phase-specific deep brain stimulation. in Brain : a journal of neurology

 
Description Member of Research Advisory Panel of Parkinson's UK
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/content/grant-assessment-panels
 
Description Member of Scientific Affairs Council of International Movement Disorders Society
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact Contributed to several guideline and clinical reviews
 
Description PD UK Panel Discussions Workshop on role of lay reviewers and PPI in PD UK grant evaluation
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description l'Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL http://icm-institute.org/menu/actualites
 
Description BRC2-3 transition funding
Amount £142,300 (GBP)
Organisation Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 
Department NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 12/2018
 
Description BRC3 Research Fellowship
Amount £70,000 (GBP)
Organisation Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 
Department NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 03/2020
 
Description MRC Industrial Strategy Studentship
Amount £70,000 (GBP)
Organisation Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2020
 
Description Medtronic Physician Initiated Research Programme
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation Medtronic 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 11/2018 
End 10/2020
 
Description Medtronic Physician Initiated Research Programme
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation Medtronic 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 06/2016 
End 07/2018
 
Description National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia Project grants
Amount $726,000 (AUD)
Organisation National Health and Medical Research Council 
Sector Public
Country Australia
Start 06/2015 
End 05/2019
 
Description Oxford BRC
Amount £2,800,000 (GBP)
Organisation Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 
Department NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2012 
End 03/2017
 
Description Rosetrees Trust project grant
Amount £200,000 (GBP)
Organisation Rosetrees Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 12/2019
 
Description Rosetrees Tust: Project grant
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation Rosetrees Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 12/2018
 
Description Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship, 'Closing the loop on neuronal oscillations: Motor networks take centre stage'
Amount £250,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 209120/Z/17/Z 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 10/2022
 
Description StopBeta
Amount € 195,455 (EUR)
Organisation European Commission 
Department Horizon 2020
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 06/2015 
End 05/2017
 
Description Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund
Amount £61,982 (GBP)
Funding ID BRR00060 CJ00.01 
Organisation University of Oxford 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2018 
End 07/2020
 
Description Wellcome/University of Oxford Clinical PhD Studentship
Amount £235,319 (GBP)
Funding ID 109030/Z/15/Z 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2015 
End 08/2018
 
Title Depth LFPs 
Description Depth recordings in patients with Parkinson's disease 
Type Of Material Biological samples 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Publications 
 
Title Directionality Index 
Description Means to identify the best site for stimulation when using directional electrodes for deep brain stimulation 
Type Of Material Physiological assessment or outcome measure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Tinkhauser G, Pogosyan A, Debove I, Nowacki A, Shah SA, Seidel K, Tan H, Brittain JS, Petermann K, di Biase L, Oertel M, Pollo C, Brown P*, Schuepbach M.* Directional local field potentials: a tool to optimize deep brain stimulation. Movement Disorders. PMID: 29150884 DOI: 10.1002/mds.27215. Patent pending 
 
Title Tremor Stability Index 
Description Simple means of distinguishing essential tremor and parkinsonian tremor 
Type Of Material Physiological assessment or outcome measure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact di Biase L, Brittain JS, Shah SA, Pedrosa DJ, Cagnan H, Mathy A, Chen CC, Martín-Rodríguez JF, Mir P, Timmerman L, Schwingenschuh P, Bhatia K, Di Lazzaro V, Brown P. (2017) Tremor Stability Index: a new tool for differential diagnosis in tremor syndromes. Brain, 140: 1977-1986. PMCID: PMC5493195 Scientific Commentary: A simple way to distinguish essential tremor from tremulous Parkinson's disease. Brain, 2017; 140: 1820-1822. F1000Prime.com/727567227Patent Pending 
 
Title Depth recordings in PD patients 
Description Clinical recordings during a specific task 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Herz DM, Tan H, Brittain JS, Fischer P, Cheeran B, Green AL, FitzGerald J, Aziz TZ, Ashkan K, Little S, Foltynie T, Limousin P, Zrinzo L, Hariz M, Bogacz R, Brown P. Distinct mechanisms mediate speed-accuracy adjustments in cortico-subthalamic networks. eLife. 
 
Title Mechanisms underlying decision-making as revealed by deep brain stimulation in patients with Parkinson's disease 
Description The data was collected between 2016 and 2017 at the John Radcliffe Hospital (Oxford) and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (London) in 7 patients with Parkinson's disease who had undergone deep brain stimulation surgery. Participants performed a moving dots task. They were either instructed to respond as quickly as possible (Speed condition) or as accurately as possible (Accuracy condition) and the moving dots had 50 % coherence (High Coherence condition) or 8 % coherence (Low Coherence condition). The task was performed three times. With continuous deep brain stimulation (cDBS), adaptive deep brain stimulation (aDBS) and off stimulation (off DBS). Behavioral data was acquired using PsychoPy and is saved as .mat-files (Matlab). Trial-averaged singe subject data is saved in SingleSubjectBehaviour.mat. This contains text files (Info_OFF and Info_DBS) explaining the data structure. Single trial, single subject data is saved as SingleTrialData_All.mat. This contains behavioural and neurophysiological single trial data for the three conditions (off DBS, cDBS, aDBS) separately. It also contains a text file explaining the data structure (Info). WindowAnalysis.mat contains behavioural data from timing-specific stimulation during aDBS for the effect of Instruction (Instr) and Coherence (Coh) for data aligned to the cue and the response. It also contains a text file explaining the data structure (Info). For drift diffusion modelling with HDDM (hierarchical drift diffusion modelling, Wiecki et al. Front Neuroinf 2013) the single trial data is also saved as cvs-files for the three conditions (SingleTrialData_offcDBS.csv for testing the effects of stimulation during cDBS (vs offDBS) and SingleTrialData_aDBS.csv for testing the effects of cue-locked stimulation during aDBS). HDDM requires installation of python (see http://ski.clps.brown.edu/hddm_docs/ for more details). All models used in the study are specified in HDDM_scripts.py. Local field potentials from the subthalamic nucleus were recorded using a custom-built device (see Little et al., 2013, Annals of Neurology for more details) and preprocessed in matlab (see related article: Herz et al., "Mechanisms underlying decision-making as revealed by deep brain stimulation in patients with Parkinson's disease" for details). Neurophysiological data off DBS for Speed vs. Accuracy trials and Low vs. High Coherence trials are saved under Beta_LFP_off.mat. Neurophysiological data for the three DBS conditions for Low vs. High Coherence are saved under Beta_LowCoherenceDBS.mat. Both files include a text explaining the data structure (Info) and contain trial-averaged data. For relevant neurophysiological single trials data, see SingleTrialData_All.mat. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Herz DM, Little S, Pedrosa DJ, Tinkhauser G, Cheeran B, Foltynie T, Bogacz R, Brown P. (2018) Mechanisms underlying decision-making as revealed by deep brain stimulation in patients with Parkinson's disease. Curr Biol, 28, 1-10. 
URL https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:0cdf0eda-3a1d-4b66-8edd-0f51d824f6cc
 
Title Nucleus accumbens core dopamine during Go-NoGo task 
Description Fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FCV) data recorded in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcc) of rats carrying out a Go-NoGo task. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact none 
URL https://data.mrc.ox.ac.uk/data-set/nucleus-accumbens-core-dopamine-during-go-nogo-task
 
Title Subthalamic nucleus activity during stopping of rhythmic finger tapping 
Description Recordings of subthalamic nucleus activity during stopping of rhythmic finger tapping 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact 40 views and 7 downloads Fischer P, Pogosyan A, Herz DM, Cheeran B, Green AL, Fitzgerald J, Aziz TZ, Hyam J, Little S, Foltynie T, Limousin P, Zrinzo L, Brown P, Tan H. (2017) Subthalamic nucleus gamma activity both promotes and inhibits movement. eLife, 6:e23947. 
URL https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:54c00c3d-1809-4a52-bba8-b491b6075f35
 
Title •Neural correlates of speed-accuracy adjustments in the subthalamic nucleus 
Description ?Subthalamic local field potential recordings in 11 Parkinson's disease patients who had undergone deep brain stimulation surgery and 18 healthy age-matched participants and time-synchronised behavioural data from a moving dots task. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Herz DM, Little S, Pedrosa DJ, Tinkhauser G, Cheeran B, Foltynie T, Bogacz R, Brown P. (2018) Mechanisms underlying decision-making as revealed by deep brain stimulation in patients with Parkinson's disease. Curr Biol, 28, 1-10. Data viewed 60 times and downloaded 5 times 
URL https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:09bef38c-999f-4fb7-aa46-14eda3123571
 
Description Bionics institute 
Organisation Bionics Institute
Country Australia 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Advice on paradigms and evaluation of data
Collaborator Contribution Device development
Impact National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia: Closed-loop deep brain stimulation: Optimising treatment of Parkinson's disease using adaptive stimulation. $726,000 Co-applicant.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Dr C. Stagg tACS fMRI and TMS studies 
Organisation University of Oxford
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Co-supervision of a DPhil student and visiting fellow Manuscript published in Current Biology
Collaborator Contribution Co-supervision of a DPhil student and visiting fellow Manuscript published in Current Biology
Impact 3 publications
Start Year 2016
 
Description Dr Christian Moll/Prof Andreas Engel 
Organisation University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
Country Germany 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution Introduction of new experimental stimulation protocols
Collaborator Contribution Complementary data to our Parkinson's Disease animal models from Parkinson's patients
Impact Translational pilot data for phase dependent stimulation
Start Year 2015
 
Description Dr Litvak 
Organisation University College London
Department Institute of Neurology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Clinical advice, supervision and interpretation
Collaborator Contribution Scanning and analysis
Impact PMID: 21147836 PMID: 25754518 PMID: 25134978 PMID: 24150222 PMID: 24089489 PMID: 23277109 PMID: 22855804 PMID: 22815506
Start Year 2008
 
Description Dr Tim Constandinou 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Participation in EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Neurotechnology (CDT) for Life and Health at Imperial College London. Sponsor on Wellcome Trust Henry Wellcome Fellowship awarded to Dr Colin McNamara.
Collaborator Contribution Shared PhD student to start Oct. 2018
Impact Shared PhD student to start Oct. 2017
Start Year 2017
 
Description Mainz collaboration 
Organisation Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Protocol development and help with ethics application
Collaborator Contribution Ethics application
Impact None yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Marwan Hariz and Ludvic Zrinzo 
Organisation University College London
Department Division of Medicine
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution recording and analysis and publication preparation
Collaborator Contribution provision of clinical material
Impact Multidisciplinary with over 15 publications
Start Year 2007
 
Description Prof Kuhn 
Organisation Charité - University of Medicine Berlin
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Experimental design, data collection and manuscript preparation
Collaborator Contribution Provision of research material and data collection. Intellectual input
Impact 16476944 16364953 16623853 16499911 16905134 16930593 17113373 17213215 17336961 17425586 17561827 17686048 17686426 18178569 18312587 18430031 18682201 18550758 18760276 19070616 19139047 19291224 19525877
 
Description Prof T Aziz 
Organisation University of Oxford
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Experimental design and recording. Analysis and joint manuscript preparation
Collaborator Contribution Provision of research material and intellectual input
Impact 17084697 17686426 18312587 18430031 18682201 19226423
Start Year 2006
 
Description Prof. Bernard Balleine 
Organisation University of Sydney
Department School of Chemistry
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have not contributed to this research team yet.
Collaborator Contribution One of my team, Dr Rahul Shah, has spent two weeks at the Balleine lab learning to train rodents in skilled motor tasks.
Impact Training of research staff
Start Year 2017
 
Description Prof. Jerrold Vitek 
Organisation University of Minnesota
Department College of Pharmacy
Country United States 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution Novel data analysis
Collaborator Contribution Providing complementary data recorded in non-human primates
Impact The Vitek lab are recording new data to facilitate our own projects. The collaboration in not multi-disciplinary.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Rosetrees Tust: In search of the optimal closed-loop stimulation for Parkinson's disease. 
Organisation Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Country Israel 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Joint successful application to the Rosetrees Trust
Collaborator Contribution Joint successful application to the Rosetrees Trust
Impact none yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description SIBET 
Organisation Chinese Academy of Sciences
Department Department of Medical Electronics
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Specified equipment and paradigms. Training and supervision
Collaborator Contribution Equipment, data, personnel
Impact Engineering from Chinese arm Engineering and clinical from UK
Start Year 2014
 
Description St Georges hospital 
Organisation St George's Hospital
Department Department of Neurosurgery
PI Contribution Protocol developed. Ethics obtained
Collaborator Contribution Protocol developed with me. Ethics obtained
Impact none as yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Subthalamic nucleus studies 
Organisation Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CGMH)
Country Taiwan, Province of China 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution Supervision and mentorship of visiting research fellow
Collaborator Contribution Visiting fellow funded from Taiwan. Data analysed was collected in Taiwan
Impact di Biase, L., Brittain, J.S., Shah, S.A., Pedrosa, D.J., Cagnan, H., Mathy, A., Chen, C.C., Martín-Rodríguez, J.F., Mir, P., Timmerman, L., Schwingenschuh, P., Bhatia, K., Di Lazzaro, V. & Brown, P. Tremor Stability Index: a new tool for differential diagnosis in tremor syndromes. Brain 140, 1977-1986 (2017). Fischer, P., Chen, C.C., Chang, Y.J., Yeh, C.H., Pogosyan, A., Herz, D.M., Cheeran, B., Green, A.L., Aziz, T.Z., Hyam, J., Little, S., Foltynie, T., Limousin, P., Zrinzo, L., Hasegawa, H., Samuel, M., Ashkan, K., Brown, P. & Tan, H. Modulation of subthalamic nucleus beta oscillations during stepping in place is enhanced in the presence of auditory cues. J Neurosci 38, 5111-5121 (2018). Shah, S.A., Tinkhauser, G., Chen, C.C., Little, S. & Brown. P. Parkinsonian Tremor Detection from Subthalamic Nucleus Local Field Potentials for Closed-Loop Deep Brain Stimulation. IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc (EMBC18), 2320-2324 (2118).
Start Year 2015
 
Title Measurement of Electrophysiological Signals during Stimulation of a Target Area of a Body 
Description A means of improving signal to noise ratio when amplifiers record during simultaneosu stimulation. 
IP Reference PATENT APPLICATION NUMBER 1816141.4 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2018
Licensed No
Impact None
 
Title Method and system for optimisation of DBS programming 
Description Identification that the specific pattern of subthalamic local field potentials can predict with electrode contact should be selected for chronic stimulation. This cuts physician programming time down from about 8 hours to 2 hours. 
IP Reference WO/2017/158067 and published Sept. 21, 2017 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2017
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Medtronic have taken out an option on this IP.
 
Title Methods and system for characterising tremors 
Description This is a simple metric that can distinguish tremor due to Parkinson's disease from that due to Essential Tremor. Tis is a diagnostic area of confusion. 
IP Reference WO2018134579 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2018
Licensed No
Impact None
 
Title A new index for differential diagnosis of PD and Essential Tremor 
Description Patent filed 
Type Diagnostic Tool - Non-Imaging
Current Stage Of Development Refinement. Clinical
Year Development Stage Completed 2017
Development Status Under active development/distribution
Impact Patent filed and Publication in revision 
 
Title New Method for surgical target localisation based on local field potentials 
Description Means of improving deep brain stimulation by assisting targeting and selection of stimulation site Patent filed 
Type Support Tool - For Medical Intervention
Current Stage Of Development Early clinical assessment
Year Development Stage Completed 2017
Development Status Under active development/distribution
Impact Patent filed and manuscript in preparation 
 
Title TACS control of tremor 
Description Non-invasive stimulation for tremor therapy 
Type Therapeutic Intervention - Medical Devices
Current Stage Of Development Refinement. Clinical
Year Development Stage Completed 2013
Development Status Under active development/distribution
Impact Interest from industry and press 
 
Title adaptive brain stimulation 
Description Funded by MRC 
Type Therapeutic Intervention - Medical Devices
Current Stage Of Development Refinement. Clinical
Year Development Stage Completed 2013
Development Status Under active development/distribution
Impact Interest from Industry, and press. 
 
Description Longwick Church of England Combined School Visit (Brown/Bogacz) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Longwick Church of England Combined School visited by my PhD student Saed Khawaldeh. Together wit Rafal Bogacz he met with about 50 pupils from Years 5 and 6. During the visit, Saed and Rafal led the pupils in discussions about how the brain is built and how it controls movements. The pupils experimented with brain-computer interfaces, and explored how a robotic arm can be controlled by electrical signals in muscles that are triggered by the brain. The pupils were also given opportunities to build pipecleaner models of nerve cell networks, and to see some of the Unit's brain tissue archive.
Year 5 teacher Ms Emma Pughe commented: "The children really enjoyed the visit and were very inspired to hear about the research. We invited the parents into school on Friday so that the children could share what they had learnt in Science Week. I could hear lots of the children telling their parents about the brains and robotic arms."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news/units-researchers-visit-local-primary-school-longwick
 
Description MRC Festival School Visit to St Ebbes Primary School (15 June 2018) (Brown/Sharott) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact St Ebbe's Primary School was visited by my Research Scientist, Petra Fischer and PA Savita Anderson together with other members from Sharott group Abbey Holt including other members from Dupret and Magill Group. This visit took place on 15th June 2018 during the MRC Festival week and was led by Dr Dupret. The team visited Year 6 pupils (~50 students) and their teachers to help them learn more about science, scientists, and how the brain works to control memory and movement.

Pupils were first given a brief introduction to the work of the Medical Research Council and the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit. Pupils, teachers and Unit members then engaged in a range of hands-on activities that included looking at nerve cells under a microscope, reporting on observations by making model cells, measuring electrical activity from muscles to control a robotic claw, comparing the brains of different vertebrates, discovering different types of memories, and using a game version of a brain-machine interface.

The Unit's visit to the school was one of many public engagement events led by the Medical Research Council and held across the country from 17th-24th June 2018 as part of the MRC Festival of Medical Research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news?page=1
 
Description Basal Ganglia, Parkinson and Treatments Conference (Brown) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave a talk on "Electrophysiological signatures of Parkinson disease"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Blurbs Lecture - November 2015 (Sharott) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact On 25 November 2015, Research Student, Eszter Kormann from Andrew Sharott's group gave a lecture during the Blurbs Lecture series at Brasenose College, University of Oxford.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Board Games Café Group (March 2018) (Sharott) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In March 2018, Dr Andrew Sharott's postdoctoral neuroscientist, Dr Abbey Becker helped to prepare science-themed board games that were taken to the Abingdon Science Festival and will be taken to other local science festivals (including by Abbey herself) during 2018. The Board Game Cafe is a project funded from the University's Public Engagement with Research Seed Fund.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.atomfestival.org.uk/
 
Description BrainFEST - March 2017 (Brown/Bolam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact On 15 March 2017, Paul Bolam gave a Lecture on "The Shaking Palsy': past, present and future of Parkinson's disease" at the BrainFEST at the Museum of Natural History in Oxford.

In the 200th year since James Parkinson wrote 'An essay on the shaking palsy', Professor Paul Bolam will talk about the past, present and future of Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurological disorder after Alzheimer's disease.

In this talk, Paul reflected on the history of the disease- reference to it has been found in ancient Greek and Roman texts- and then showed how understanding precisely what underlies the motor symptoms has led to successful treatments that give symptomatic relief for many years. Current therapies do not alter the course of the disease, so in the final part of his talk he addressed the hopes for the future of therapies that modify disease progression.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Café Scientifique Visit December 2018 (Brown/Bolam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact On 5 December 2018, Paul Bolam with other members of the Unit visited Café Scientique to give a Lecture on "The Shaking Palsy': Past, present and future of Parkinson's disease".

In this talk, Paul reflected on the history of the disease- reference to it has been found in ancient Greek and Roman texts- and then showed how understanding precisely what underlies the motor symptoms has led to successful treatments that give symptomatic relief for many years. Current therapies do not alter the course of the disease, so in the final part of his talk he addressed the hopes for the future of therapies that modify disease progression.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Computer Club, Phyliss Tennis Club - August 2015 (Brown/Bolam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact On 10th August 2015, Paul Bolam gave a Lecture on "Ageing brain or diseased brain" - an understanding of how the brain works, normal ageing of the brain, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease and Self help to the Computer Club, Phyliss Tennis Club, Henley.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Curiosity Carnival (European Researcher's Night, September 2017) (Sharott) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact On 29th September 2017, Dr Andrew Sharott's postdoctoral scientist Dr Abbey Becker took part in the Curiosity Carnival - a city-wide programme of activities across the University of Oxford's museums, libraries, gardens and woods. There was a wide range of activities for all ages and interests - live experiments, games, stalls, busking, debates, music, dance and a pub-style quiz.

Oxford's Curiosity Carnival 2017 joined hundreds of other European cities in celebrating European Researchers' Night.

Abbey's contribution involved baking a cake to represent her research into Deep Brain Stimulation and then explaining it to members of the general public at a stand located in the University Botanic Gardens. Abbey's cake - a model of a brain with stimulation leads inserted into it - drew much interest from visitors of all ages.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ox.ac.uk/curiosity-carnival/about
 
Description Discussion of the relative uses of clinical and animal research 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Dissemination of information.

Meeting discussions were disseminated widely through branch publications
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Filming a teaching article for STEM undergraduates (Brown) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Filming of an teaching article on application of artificial intelligence related techniques to neuroscience for STM subject Undergraduates.
Lambent filming for SAGE productions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Garsington WI - January 2017 (Brown/Bolam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact On 11 January 2017, Paul Bolam gave a lecture to Garsington WI, Oxfordshire on "the ageing brain, healthy ageing and age-related neurological disorders, in particular, Parkinson's disease and strategies for its treatment that are available now and new strategies that hopefully, will give benefit in the future".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Generating Genius School Visit during MRC Festival Week (commencing week 20 June 2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Generating Genius, http://www.generatinggenius.org.uk/ a charity that works with high-achieving secondary school students from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them acquire the skills they need to win places on STEM courses at top universities. 22 Students from two schools attended the open day on 22 June 2016.

A group of bright GCSE students from the pre-16 strand of the programme called Junior Genius. A range of hands-on practical sessions, lab tours and talks will be run by Unit members at all levels to provide the children with an insight into the nature and benefits of medical/brain research, and inspire them to pursue a career in science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.generatinggenius.org.uk/
 
Description Generating Genius School Visit during MRC Festival Week (commencing week 20 June 2016) (Brown/Sharott) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Generating Genius, http://www.generatinggenius.org.uk/ a charity that works with high-achieving secondary school students from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them acquire the skills they need to win places on STEM courses at top universities. 22 Students from two schools attended the open day on 22 June 2016.

A group of bright GCSE students from the pre-16 strand of the programme called Junior Genius. A range of hands-on practical sessions, lab tours and talks ran by Unit members at all levels to provide the children with an insight into the nature and benefits of medical/brain research, and inspire them to pursue a career in science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.generatinggenius.org.uk/
 
Description Hinksey School visit - May 2017 (Brown/Magill) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Unit members Paul Bolam and Natalie Doig visited Hinskey School on 17 May 2017 whereby they gave the following talks to 7-8 year old students on:
- Introduction: brain scientists, trying to understand the brain and what goes wrong in disease
- Brain is most important part of you: My brain, models of brain, fixed brain
- What is the brain for? Everything!
- What is the brain made of? How many nerve cells? Slides of MSN and pipe-cleaner neurons, millions and millions connected together? Make nerve cells with the three parts?
Make network
- How do nerve cells talk to each other: chemicals but talk about electrical activity; slides
- Demonstration of what happens when pinched: impulses to the brain, brain decides to move, electrical activity to muscles, move! Get class to do it
- Different parts of the brain do different things: Slides; give instructions to someone to move
- Diseases in OLD people: Parkinson's disease
- Look at and touch fixed brains, give wrist bands
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Hosting of Work Experience Student 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A student from a local school spent 3 days in the lab
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Lord James O'Shaughnessy, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, visit (Brown/Magill) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The Unit welcomed Lord James O'Shaughnessy, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, for a site visit organised as part of The Royal Society's Pairing Scheme.
The visit began with Unit Group Leaders Peter Brown, Peter Magill and Tim Denison highlighting why, how and where the Unit undertakes its cross-disciplinary research incorporating experimental neuroscience, clinical studies and bioengineering. This prompted some insightful discussion on the Unit's contribution to the UK's research and innovation landscape, as well as its alignment with government policy and strategy. Lord O'Shaughnessy then toured Unit facilities, and met with some of the Unit's early-career scientists who showcased the concepts and technologies underpinning their respective experiments.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news/unit-hosts-lord-oshaughnessy-parliamentary-under-secretary-state-h...
 
Description MRC Animals Forum meeting - Sept 2017 (Brown/Bolam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact 11 September 2017, Professor Paul Bolam, gave a lecture at Animals Forum at MRC Head Office, attended by MRC funded researchers: "Openness in animal research" - talking to the public on the use of animals in medical research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description MRC Festival Medical Research Parkinsons Disease Open Day visit (19 June 2018) (Brown/Sharott/Magill/Bogacz) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Patients, carers and/or patient groups
Results and Impact 27 Lay members of the Oxford, Banbury and Reading groups of the charity Parkinson's UK visited MRC, BNDU for an Open Day visit to learn more about the Unit's research on the causes and treatment of Parkinson's disease.

Two short presentations on "Deep Brain Stimulation as a therapy for Parkinson's" and "Use of animals in Parkinson's research". Followed by tour of the Unit's laboratories and microscope facilities. For those who were not able to attend the lab tours were treated to a live demonstration of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of the brain. The visit concluded with a final Q & A session, and a chance for the visitors to give their feedback. The Unit also took the opportunity to promote its local networks for Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in research which resulted in half of the attendees signing up for PPI.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news
 
Description MRC Festival School Visit to St Ebbes Primary School (22 June 2017) (Brown) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact On 22nd June 2017, Savita Anderson together with other Unit members visited Year 4 pupils and their teachers at St Ebbe's C. of E. (Aided) Primary School. This group was led by Dr Dupret, including members of his group (McHugh, Barron, Koren), and Magill group (Micklem, Dodson, Syed, Kauffling). The purpose of the visit was to help students to learn more about science, scientists, and how the brain works to control memory and movement.

Pupils were first given a brief introduction to the work of the Medical Research Council and the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit. Pupils, teachers and Unit members then engaged in a range of hands-on activities that included looking at nerve cells under a microscope, reporting on observations by making model cells, measuring electrical activity from muscles to control a robotic claw, comparing the brains of different vertebrates, discovering different types of memories, and using a game version of a brain-machine interface. In all these activities, the guiding motto was "See - Do - Report", an approach devised by the Unit to mirror the "Concrete - Pictorial - Abstract" method that the pupils use in their maths classes.

The Unit's visit to the school was one of many public engagement events led by the Medical Research Council and held across the country from 17th-25th June 2017 as part of the MRC Festival of Medical Research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news?page=7
 
Description Oxfordshire Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact OSF provides the opportunity to deliver a variety of engagement activities, from interactive stalls at the city-centre fair, to debates and more innovative formats. Many children and their parents attended to participate in an interactive journey about the brain - systems to single cell level.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news/unit-members-engage-oxfordshire-science-festival-2015
 
Description Parkinson's UK Chandler's Ford Forum - October 2015 (Brown/Bolam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Patients, carers and/or patient groups
Results and Impact On 14 October 2015, Paul Bolam gave a lecture to the Parkinson's UK Chandler's Ford Forum to Parkinson's patients, carers, charity staff.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description STEM placements for local school pupils (in2science) - (Brown) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A group of 5 students from local schools within the Oxfordshire area was enrolled on a 2-week programme (non-residential) during which they were given:
- Personalised mentoring from scientists
- Opportunities to gain a wide variety of practical experiences as well as exposure to key concepts and challenges in research
- Integrated workshops with in2scienceUK, where the pupils receive guidance on university applications, wider information about STEM careers, and training in transferable skills. In2science partners with academic institutions to give sixth-form students from low income backgrounds the opportunity to work alongside STEM scientists, with a view to inspiring/coaching them to get into top universities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://in2scienceuk.org
 
Description STEM placements for local school pupils (in2science) - August 2018 (Sharott) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Hosted 3 pupils from 3 local schools in Oxford. The placement scheme hosted at the Unit was a first for Oxford, and was tailored for pupils from local state-funded schools to support their progress into university degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). During their time in the Unit, the pupils worked alongside Unit scientists and received personalised mentoring to gain a wide variety of practical experiences and learn more about key concepts and challenges in neuroscience and medical research. In a series of integrated workshops with in2scienceUK, the pupils also received guidance on university applications, wider information about STEM careers, and training in transferable skills. The pupils recorded their experiences and progress in blogs and images.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news?page=1
 
Description STEM placements for local school pupils - (in2science) - August 2016 (Brown) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Hosted 5 pupils from 4 local schools in Oxford.

The placement scheme hosted at the Unit was a first for Oxford, and was tailored for pupils from local state-funded schools to support their progress into university degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

During their time in the Unit, the pupils worked alongside Unit scientists and received personalised mentoring to gain a wide variety of practical experiences and learn more about key concepts and challenges in neuroscience and medical research. In a series of integrated workshops with in2scienceUK, the pupils also received guidance on university applications, wider information about STEM careers, and training in transferable skills. The pupils recorded their experiences and progress in blogs and images.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news
 
Description STEM placements for local school pupils - (in2science) - August 2016 (Sharott) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A group of 5 students from local schools within Oxforsdshire area spent two weeks in the Unit to gain work experience. A range of activities was arranged for them. During this period, the students were able to observe, participate in and learn about research science; Gain insight into scientific techniques and methods; Get exposure to a University environment, scientists, PhD students, and professors; Develop self-confidence, verbal and written communication skills

In2Science, http://in2scienceuk.org/ partners with academic institutions to give sixth-form students from low income backgrounds the opportunity to work alongside STEM scientists, with a view to inspiring/coaching them to get into top universities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://in2scienceuk.org/
 
Description School Open Day - 17 March 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 140 GCSE/A level students from 12 local schools within Oxfordshire area attended the school open day. A range of hands-on practical sessions, lab tours and talks ran by Unit members at all levels to provide the children with an insight into the nature and benefits of medical/brain research, and inspire them to pursue a career in science.

Also in attendance were local Oxfordshire MP (Rt. Hon Mr Andrew Smith) and Councillor (Mr Bob Price) attended the school open day.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/outreach
 
Description School Visit to Cherwell School - November 2018 (Brown/Bolam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact On 28 November 2018, Paul Bolam attended the Cherwell School and talked to 6th form Psychology and Biology students on how the brain works and what goes wrong in disease (Parkinson's disease). There were in the region of 30 students and 1 member of staff Nilofer Gaffar. The following topics were covered:
- How one can study the brain.
- Concepts of neurons synapses and circuits.
- Parkinson's disease and what goes wrong in the disease.
- How we can treat Parkinson's disease and what are the prospects for the future.
- What we do to study Parkinson's disease in animals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description School Visit to Cotswold School December 2015 (Brown/Bolam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Unit member Paul Bolam visited Cotswold Primary School and give a talk on: 1) Medical research to students studying ethics; 2) Introduced the Unit and its Mission; 3) The various methods used to study the nervous system; 4) How the Unit study the brain, and ended with some comments on basal ganglia research and its relevance for the understanding and treatment of Parkinson's disease. Topics chosen to illustrate why and how animals is used in medical research and talked about the regulation of work on animals in the UK, society's interaction with animals in a broader context, and anti-vivisection groups.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description School visit (Brown) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Encouraging students in to science, very enthusiastic reception to the subject.



Please see evaluation report and http://www.ndcn.ox.ac.uk/news/international-students-visit-our-department-to-learn-about-neuroscience
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.ndcn.ox.ac.uk/news/international-students-visit-our-department-to-learn-about-neuroscienc...
 
Description School visit - Work experience 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A group of 5 students from local schools within Oxforsdshire area spent two weeks in the Unit to gain work experience. A range of activities was arranged for them. During this period, the students were able to observe, participate in and learn about research science; Gain insight into scientific techniques and methods; Get exposure to a University environment, scientists, PhD students, and professors; Develop self-confidence, verbal and written communication skills

In2Science, http://in2scienceuk.org/ partners with academic institutions to give sixth-form students from low income backgrounds the opportunity to work alongside STEM scientists, with a view to inspiring/coaching them to get into top universities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://in2scienceuk.org/
 
Description School visit to Cherwell School - October 2017 (Brown/Bolam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact On 11 October 2017, Paul Bolam visited Cherwell School to give a lecture on "Neurosciences". The audience were primarily Years 12-13 students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description School visit to Cotswold School April 2015 (Brown/Bolam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Unit member Paul Bolam made one of his regular visits to The Cotswold School, where he talked about medical research with Year 10 students studying ethics. Paul introduced the Unit and its Mission, the various methods used to study the nervous system, how we in the Unit study the brain, and ended with some comments on basal ganglia research and its relevance for the understanding and treatment of Parkinson's disease. Paul chose these topics to illustrate why and how we use animals in medical research. He then talked about the regulation of work on animals in the UK, society's interaction with animals in a broader context, and anti-vivisection groups. Paul's talk was followed by an enthusiastic discussion session with the students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news?page=15
 
Description School visit to Larkrise Primary School - June 2018 (Brown/Bolam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact On 20th June, Dr Petra Fischer from my Group and Professor Paul Bolam visited pupils at Larkrise Primary School in central Oxford, to help them learn more about science, scientists, and how the brain works.

Armed with a variety of eye-catching demonstration aids taken from the Unit's Public Engagement Toolbox, Petra and Paul spent the morning with two classes of children from Year 6. They introduced the children to what a scientist is and does, and then lead discussions of some key messages about nerve cells and their networks, the electricity and connections of the brain, and diseases of the brain. The children then dove into some practical sessions, such as building pipe cleaner models of nerve cells, and exploring the Unit's brain tissue specimens. At the end of the visit, the children were given some colourful mementoes of the experience.

The school visit was one of many public engagement events led by the Medical Research Council and held across the country from 14th-24th June 2018 as part of the MRC Festival of Medical Research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news?page=1
 
Description Schools Open Day - 16 March 2017 (Brown/Sharott) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 120 GCSE/A level students from 8 local schools within Oxfordshire area attended the school open day. A range of hands-on practical sessions, lab tours and talks ran by Unit members at all levels to provide the children with an insight into the nature and benefits of medical/brain research, and inspire them to pursue a career in science. Also in attendance were local County Cllr Lorraine Lindsay-Gale , City Councillors Pat Kennedy and Louise Upton.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news
 
Description Schools Open Day - 17 March 2016 (Brown/Sharott) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 140 GCSE/A level students from 12 local schools within Oxfordshire area attended the school open day. A range of hands-on practical sessions, lab tours and talks ran by Unit members at all levels to provide the children with an insight into the nature and benefits of medical/brain research, and inspire them to pursue a career in science.

Also in attendance were local Oxfordshire MP (Rt. Hon Mr Andrew Smith) and Councillor (Mr Bob Price) attended the school open day.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/outreach
 
Description Schools Open Day 15 March 2018 (Brown/Sharott) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 70 GCSE/A level students from 6 local schools within Oxfordshire area attended the school open day. A range of hands-on practical sessions, lab tours and talks ran by Unit members at all levels to provide the children with an insight into the nature and benefits of medical/brain research, and inspire them to pursue a career in science. Also in attendance were the Mrs Jean Fooks - Lord Mayor of Oxford, Cllr Chris Wright - Chair of Garsington Parish Council and Cllr Elizabeth Gillespie - South Oxfordshire District Council.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news
 
Description Talk to Medical Students - November 2015 (Brown/Bolam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact 10 November 2015, Paul Bolam gave a Lecture on" Use of animals in medical research including the current developments in Parkinson's research to Undergraduate Students, Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description The Marlow Café Scientifique - June 2017 (Brown/Bolam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact On 5th June 2017, Paul Bolam gave a lecture at the The Marlow Café Scientifique, Sir William Borlases Grammar School to students and general members of the public on "Talk on Ageing brain or diseased brain". His talk covered: Ageing in general, How the brain works, What happens to the brain during ageing, Diseases of the aged brain (Alzheimer's Parkinson's disease), How we can prevent brain ageing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit to Banbury Parkinson's Group - August 2018 (Brown & Sharott) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact On 24 August 2018, Dr Andrew Sharott D.Phil. student Eszter Kormann and Professor Peter Brown's Senior Group Leader Huiling Tan went to Banbury to visit about 40 members of a local group of people affected by Parkinson's, including patients, carers and their friends and families.

The visit began with a talk from Eszter on the role of brain rhythms in Parkinson's, drawing on her work with patients as well as the use of animal models in Parkinson's research. Huiling then introduced some of the Unit's research on brain stimulation for the treatment of Parkinson's, and shared some exciting new developments for improving these therapeutic approaches. Each of the talks was integrated with a lively discussion session in which the audience's questions came thick and fast, stimulating further conversations about Unit discoveries made in the clinic and at the lab bench.

Feedback from the audience was overwhelmingly positive, and included: "The presentations were pitched at just the right level for our members, very few of whom have any significant scientific or medical knowledge." "I was very interested and encouraged to learn that closed-loop Deep Brain Stimulation may be available to some Parkinson's patients in the future."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news?page=1
 
Description Visit to Cotswold Primary School February 2017 (Brown/Bolam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Unit Member Paul Bolam visited Cotswold School on 7th February 2017. He gave a talk on "Why it is necessary to use animals in research? "; "Which animals do we use and how many do we use?"; "What do we do to the animals?"; " How is the use of animals controlled"? "Regulations in the UK; The interaction of society with animals in a broader perspective, Anti-vivisection pressure groups "
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit to Cotswold School May 2016 (Brown/Bolam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Unit members Paul Bolam and Unit D.Phil. student Anna-Kristin Kaufmann visited The Cotswold School to engage with pupils studying GCSE Ethics and A-level Biology. Paul and Anna started their visit with two separate groups of Year 10 students studying ethics, and led interactive discussion sessions focused on the use of animals in medical research. Paul and Anna highlighted some medical treatments that have been developed from research using animals, why animals are still needed for medical research, and how animals are used in brain research. They finished by discussing how animal use is regulated in the UK as well as the broader interactions of society with animals. Over the school lunch break, Paul and Anna talked with Year 11 pupils studying biology. Discussion topics included how scientists study the brain, what goes wrong in Parkinson's disease, how Parkinson's disease is treated, and the research that is being done to better understand the disease and to identify new therapies for it.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news?page=11
 
Description Visit to Didcot U3A Science, Maths & Technology Interest Group - August 2018 (Brown) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact On 7th August, I (Peter Brown) visited the Didcot U3A Science, Maths & Technology Interest Group to give a talk entitled "Dealing with bad brain-waves in Parkinson's". Peter took the opportunity to communicate the Mission and work of the Unit, before focusing on the research of his own Group. The talk was peppered with insightful questions from the audience, who greatly enjoyed the presentation as well as the open discussion session that followed.

The U3A (University of the Third Age) is a UK-wide movement which brings together people in their 'third age' to develop their interests and continue their learning in a friendly and informal environment.

Professor Brown commented, "The meeting was a great opportunity to engage with retired and semi-retired people with a particular interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It was a pleasure to learn that the work of the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit is so appreciated."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news?page=1
 
Description Visit to South Oxford Community Centre, Woodcraft Folk Meeting (South Oxford Elphins) - 12 Feb - Paul Bolam 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Emeritus Prof Bolam attended the South Oxford Community Centre, Woodcraft Folk Meeting (South Oxford Elphins) on 12 February 2019. The session was attended by Children aged between 5-9 years old. The following is a summary of the activities: Through the use of slides, discussion, and hands-on activities (pipe-cleaner neurons, touching fixed brains, neuronal network and what it feels like to have PD) the following points were made:

Your brain is you
Billions of nerve cells, nerve cells consist of three parts (cell body, axon, dendrites)
Networks
Electrical activity
Localization of function
Diseases of the brain, mainly Parkinson's disease.

Each child received an MRC pen and BNDU wrist band.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Visit to St Andrew's Primary School, Oxford - January 2018 (Sharott) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Dr Abbey Holt (a Post-Doctoral Researcher in Sharott group) visited pupils at St Andrew's C. of E. Primary School in central Oxford, to help them learn more about science, scientists, and how the brain works. The visit was made in support of the state-funded school's inaugural STEM Festival, a deep-learning week created to deliver a variety of interactive experiences to each year group, including off-site and in-school activities, and opportunities to meet professionals working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Armed with a variety of eye-catching demonstration aids taken from the Unit's Public Engagement Toolbox, Natalie spent a morning with the 4 and 5 year-old children in the Rainbows and Sunflowers classes. After Natalie introduced what a scientist is and does, the children were guided through a series of games that were designed to highlight how the brain controls memory and movement. The children then compared plastic animal brains, and took turns at wearing the 'Brain Hat', with the goal of learning that different parts of different brains do different things. Natalie then helped the children to build colourful pipe cleaner models of nerve cells, eventually connecting the model nerve cells in long strings to 'pass messages'. At the end of the session, the children were encouraged to don some rubber gloves and explore the Unit's brain tissue specimens for themselves. The school teacher (K.F.) commented: "Many parents came to speak to me to report how excited their children had been when recounting the visit after school. The children mentioned what our brains are for and were especially excited at having touched a real brain."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news?page=3
 
Description Work Experience 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Hosted 5 pupils from 4 local schools in Oxford.

The placement scheme hosted at the Unit was a first for Oxford, and was tailored for pupils from local state-funded schools to support their progress into university degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

During their time in the Unit, the pupils worked alongside Unit scientists and received personalised mentoring to gain a wide variety of practical experiences and learn more about key concepts and challenges in neuroscience and medical research. In a series of integrated workshops with in2scienceUK, the pupils also received guidance on university applications, wider information about STEM careers, and training in transferable skills. The pupils recorded their experiences and progress in blogs and images.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.mrcbndu.ox.ac.uk/news
 
Description Wycombe Abbey School visit - March 2018 (Brown/Bolam) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact On 13 March 2018, Paul Bolam was invited to talk at Wycombe Abbey School (private girls boarding school) following an introduction by 'Understanding Animal Research' (UAR). The talk 'the use of animals in medical research' was delivered to about forty pupils and three teachers (one teacher and two pupils from another local school but I can't remember the name). The students were mostly 6th form science students.

He started the presentation using the UAR quiz about the use of animals (adapted for PowerPoint) and then covered the following topics:

• Why it is necessary to use animals in research?
• Which animals do we use and how many do we use?
• What do we do to the animals?
• How is the use of animals controlled? Regulations in the UK.
• The interaction of society with animals in a broader perspective.
• Anti-vivisection pressure groups.

The talk lasted about one hour and was followed by a lively 30 min discussion session. He was most impressed by the standard of the questions and the interest expressed by students. One girl had looked up one of our papers on LARRK2 rats!
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description discussion with film maker about a PE film on motor control and benefits of Dance in PD (Brown) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Advice and discussion with film maker about a PE film on motor control and benefits of Dance in PD


Dr Higgins sent the following after: Many thanks for taking time out to chat with me earlier today. It was a very useful conversation for me and I'm really grateful for your suggestions, input and support of the project. I'll contact Professor Lynn Rochester and Barry Gibb as you suggested and keep you updated on how things develop and progress. Much appreciate, also, your consent to act as 'consultants' to the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2015
URL https://www.linkedin.com/pub/ceri-higgins/55/613/648