Medical Toxicology Centre



Neurotoxicology is one of our five main research themes. Find out about what we do, and what projects we’re involved in.

Our aim is to study the effects of environmental and endogenous toxins on the activity of both the central and peripheral nervous system. 

A major focus of our work is to understand how several major disorders of the nervous system are affected by chemical exposure. For example, we look at neurodegenerative movement disorders.

Current projects

Experimental Modelling in Neurotoxicology 

Researchers: PG Blain, CM Morris, SJ Judge, PS Hanson, JB Harris

We are developing a major test platform to assess the effects of a wide range of chemical compounds on the central and peripheral nervous system and determine their mode of action. 

This allows us to evaluate multiple aspects of nervous system function. We study:

  • animal behaviour and activity
  • electrophysiology
  • neurochemical and receptor analysis
  • quantitative pathology
  • gene and protein expression
  • cell culture based models of neurones and glia, including the use of human stem cells

We have access to human CNS tissue for ethically approved projects. This is via the Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource.

Other projects

We are also working on:

  • Neurobiological consequences of low level exposure to organophosphates (S Judge, C Morris, P Blain)
  • Agrochemicals and Parkinsons Disease (C Morris, P Blain)
  • Clinical and pathological consequences of high and low level exposure to commercially used organophosphates (JB Harris in collaboration with M Eddleston, University of Edinburgh)
  • The neurotoxicity of TaClo, a proposed metabolite of trichloroethylene (CM Morris, PS Hanson,PG Blain)
  • Biomarker discovery in neuropsychiatratric disorders (CM Morris)
  • The synapse in toxicology (JB Harris)
  • Clinical referral service for patients with neurotoxicological diseases (PG Blain)
  • Chronic and acute toxicity of novel drugs of abuse (CM Morris, PS Hanson, M J Dunn, S J Judge, SJ Hill, SHL Thomas)