Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Professor Alexander Mendelow

Strategic Research Adviser



Please see web pages for links to other sites:


MB BCh (Witwatersrand) 1969
FRCS (Edinburgh) 1974
PhD (Witwatersrand) 1978
FRCS (Surgical Neurology) Edinburgh 1979

Previous Positions

2000-Present: Head of Department of Neurosurgery, Newcastle General Hospital
1992-Present: Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Honorary Consultant Neurosurgeon, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Trust
1994-1998: Clinical Director, Directorate of Neurosciences, Newcastle General Hospital
1987-1992: Reader in Neurosurgery, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
1980-1986: Senior Lecturer, Neurosurgery, University of Glasgow. Honorary Consultant Neurosurgeon, Insitute of Neurological Sciences, Glasgow
1979-1980: Senior Registrar Neurosurgery, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh. Clinical Tutor, University of Edinburgh
1978-1979: Locum Senior Registrar, Neurosurgery, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh
1978: Registrar Neurosurgery, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh
1976-1977: Lecturer, Department of Physiology, University Witwatersrand, SA
1974-1976: Registrar Neurosurgery, Johannesburg Hospital, Johannesburg
1973-1974: Registrar General Surgery, Johannesburg and JG Strydom Hospitals, SA
1973: Registrar Orthopaedics/Urology, Baragwanath Hospital
1972-1973: Registrar Neurosurgery, Baragwanath Hospital
1972: SHO Neurosurgery, Baragwanath Hospital
1972: SHO Ophthalmology, Johannesburg Hospital
1971: Anatomy Assistant, University of Witwatersrand
1970: Intern Medicine, Johannesburg Hospital
1970: Intern Surgery, Johannesburg Hospital


Chairman Witwatersrand University Student Community Organisation(WITSCO)
WITS Medical Graduate Association (MGA) Secretary
Vice President/President
Member of South African Society of Neurosurgeons
Member of the Society of British Neurosurgeons
Member of the Surgical Research Society
Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Convenor of the British Neurosurgery Research Group
Treasurer of Euroacademia Multidisciplinaria Neurotraumatologica
Member of Neuroscience and Mental Health Board Medical Research Council
Member of the Honorary Advisory panel to Secretary of State for Transport
President - International Brain Oedema Society
President Elect - Euroacademia Multidisciplinaria Naurotraumatologica
Chairman - British Intracerebral Haemorrhage Group
Member - Stroke Council of the American Stroke Association
International Member - Congress of Neurosurgeons (USA)
International Member - American Association of Neurological Surgeons (USA)
College Assessor on Advisory Appointments Committees in Neurosurgery - The Royal College of Surgeons of England

Honours and Awards

Culver Prize for Public Health
Westdene Prize
Gordon Grant Prize for Gynaecology
SL Sive Memorial Fellowship
WR Henderson Trust Fellowship
Community Action Award
Medical Community Award (Associate of British Insurers ABI)
Albert Schmidt Award (Donated by Margaret Cowen in recognition of support to Brainwave)
Margaret Cowan Bowl (Donated by Margaret Cowan in recognition of support to Brainwave)


Research Interests

The Research Programme which I have initiated in Newcastle has been focused on the cerebral circulation, with particular reference to cerebrovascular disease and head injury. Many of the pathophysiological mechanisms in these two disorders are common to both. Studies have been clinical as well as experimental, and have included the setting up of major medical audit initiatives on the Regional Management of Head Injured patients, the National Management of Subarachnoid Haemorrhage and the outcome from carotid endarterectomy in the Trust.

Clincial research has centred on patients with head injury, stroke and with ischaemia following aneurysm surgery. Cerebral blood flow has been measured at different perfusion pressures and levels of carbon dioxide. In collaboration with the Regional Medical Physics Department, a new thermal clearance probe for the measurement of cerebral blood flow has been developed. Several Research Registrars have completed projects on a variety of conditions and six have completed higher degrees; four more are in preparation.

The Stroke Association funded a project to initiate a prospective randomised controlled trial of surgery in patients with Spontaneous Intracerebral Haemorrhage. The MRC have supported this trial which is now a major international multicentre trial co-ordinated froom Newcastle.

(A) Epidemiological Aspects of Head Injury: research into epidemiological aspects of head injury management has focused on intracranial haemoatomas, including an evaluation of risk factors in adults and children. The costs and benefits of different management strategies in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle have been determined, and have contributed to the development of Guidelines for the Management of Head Injury which have now been adopted in many parts of the United Kingdom. Current research is aimed at assessing the value of these Guidelines and the algorithms on the morbidity and mortality from head injury.

(B) Clinical Measurements: several studies have examined methods for the measurement of intracranial pressure and cerebral perfusion pressure in head injured patients. Audits of chronic subdural haematoma, occlusive cerbrovascular disease, spontaneous intracerebral haemorrahge, multiple aneurysms and early aneurysm surgery have been completed. All these studies have concentrated on the themes of head injury and cerebrovascular disease. The use of jugular venous oxygen, microdialysis and the Bispectral Index has been evaluated in neurosurgery patients.

(C) Audit: As the Lead Clinician for Medical Audit at the Regional Neurosciences Centre, successful applications were made for three projects in collaboration with other Departments. These included an outcome study of all Neurology and Neurosurgery admissions, an audit of head injury in the Northern Region and a national audit of patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage (British Subarachnoid Haemorrhage Study).

(D) Clinical Trials Office: A clinical trials office was established in October 1994 with a Manager, 3 Research Sisters, 2 Research Registrars and a Secretary. The Clinical Trial Team supports a wide range of clinical research projects in Neurosurgery.


Medical Research Council (1983) Experimental Intracerebral Haemorrhage
Scottish Home & Health Department (1983) Haemodynamic Threshold of Cerebral Ischaemia
Institute of Neurological Sciences Research Trust(1984) Measurement of Intracranial Pressure
Bayer (UK) (1985) Experimental Intracerebral Haemorrhage
UCB Phamaceuticals (1986) Gaba Analogues in experimental ischaemia
Bayer (UK) (1987) Experimental Cerebral ischaemia/epidemiology of head injury
William Harker Research Trust (1989) Awarded to Mr P Kane for one year to study immunosuppression in experimental Intracerebral Haemorrhage
Northern Region Research Fellowship (1989) Awarded to Mr R Strachan for one year to study immunosuppression in experimental middle cerebral artery occlusion
Celltech (UK) (1989) Controlled Trial of Calcitonin Gene Related Peptide in Patients with subarachnoid Haemorrhage
Bayer (UK) (1990) Controlled trail of Nimodipine in head injury patients (HIT II)
Northern Region Research Council (1991) Awarded to Dr M Davis for study of NMDA receptor antagonists in experimental middle cerebral artery occlusion in aged rats
Bayer (UK) (1991) An experiemental & Phase 2 clinical study of Nimodipine in Spontanious Intracerbral Haemorrhage
Sandoz (1991) For the development of Histological Techniques to study experimental cerebral ischaemia
Upjohn (1991) A clinical trial of the 21 Aminosteriod Tirilazad Mesylate in subarachnoid haemorrhage
Sandoz (1993) A clinical trial of D-CPP-ene in Head Injury
Wellcome Foundation (1994) A clinical trial of a glutamate release inhibitor in Head Injury
Novartis: Phase III Trial of DCPP-ene in head injury
Stroke Association (1995) A clinical trial of surgery in spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage
Medical Research Council (1998) Surgical trial of intracerebral Haemorrage
Roche (1998) Phase III Trial of bosentan in subarachnoid haemorrhage
Royal Victoria Infirmary Special Trustees (1998) Non invasive ICP monitoring
Royal Victoria Infirmary Special Trustees (1998) Ahdesion molecules in subarachnoid haemorrhage
Royal Victoria Infirmary Special Trustees (1998) Neurochemistry of free radical damage in human brain
Brainwave (1999) Microdialysis in ICH
Medical Research Council (2001) Extention of STICH Trial
Action Research (2001) Non invasive monitoring in hydrocephalus
Newcastle Healthcare Charity JRE Scientific Committee (2002) COGnitive Function After Carotid Endarterectomy


Postgraduate Teaching

See Neurosurgery website on Trust Intranet