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, for example neurodegenerative movement disorders, are affected by chemical exposure.
In order to assess the effects of a wide range of chemical compounds on the central and peripheral nervous system and determine their mode of action, we are developing a major test platform. This allows us to evaluate multiple aspects of nervous system function, by studying animal behaviour and activity, electrophysiology, neurochemical and receptor analysis, quantitative pathology, gene and protein expression, and cell culture based models of neurones and glia, including the use of human stem cells. Access to human CNS tissue is also available for use in ethically approved projects via the Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource.