Medical Toxicology Centre

Clinical Toxicology

Clinical Toxicology

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

Clinical academics in the Centre provide a clinical service to the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. We offer an out-patient clinics and in-patient care. 

The case-mix includes acute poisonings and chronic toxicological diseases

We also look into individual special interest areas such as:

  • clinical neurotoxicology
  • occupational toxicology
  • radiation medicine

The clinicians also participate in a national on-call service for Public Health England. They provide expert advice on the management of patients exposed in a chemical incident or involved in major incidents.

Exposure to an environmental agent

On occasion, we see patients in the clinic with a history and clinical findings that suggest a causative association with exposure to an environmental agent.  

Our research scientists research the putative toxic mechanisms underlying the clinical problem.

We do this in an appropriate research project. The outcome is applied, where relevant, to the clinical management of the patients.  

Basic research in the laboratory may provide diagnostic biomarkers. These may be applicable in the patient investigation.  

Case study example

One example of this relationship is the observation that patients with multiple system atrophy had a history of prolonged high level exposure to trichloroethylene.  

This stimulated a research project. The project identified a neurotoxic metabolite and a possible mechanism for specific toxicity to striatonigral neurones. 

Current projects

Our current work includes:

  • updating information on NPIS TOXBASE website (S Thomas)
  • acting on the editorial board of the TOXBASE Chemical Exposure E-learning project (S Thomas)
  • optimising the medical response in the warm/hot zone in a chemical incident (P Blain)