Neurotoxicology

Technician doing laboratory testsOur 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. 


Current Projects

  • Experimental Modelling in Neurotoxicology (PG Blain, CM Morris, SJ Judge, JB Harris, HPA)
  • 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 neural stem cells. Access to human CNS tissue is also available for use in ethically approved projects via the Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource.

  • Amnesic shellfish poisoning: mechanisms of action, susceptibility and neuroprotection (S Judge, C Morris, P Blain, HPA and Medical Research Council)
  • Neurobiological consequences of low level exposure to organophosphates (S Judge, C Morris, P Blain, HPA)
  • Agrochemicals and Parkinsons Disease (C Morris, P Blain, HPA)
  • 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 (E Mutch, F Williams, CM Morris, 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, R Jefferson)