Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Emeritus Professor Robert Perry

Emeritus Professor


MBChB (St Andrews), DSc (Newcastle), FRCP Edin (Cardiology), FRCPath (Histo- Neuropathology)

DSc - Clinical, Neuropathological, and Neurochemical studies on DLB & Dementia, Parkinson's disease, Down's syndrome, Schizophrenia & Depression

Reader Neurochemical Pathology 1994-2009

Professor of Neuropathology 1998-2009, Emeritus 2009

Kellog International Scholar 1984 (USA)


Dundee Royal Infirmary 1969 (HS)

Leicester Royal Infirmary & Groby Road Hospital - General Medicine, Neurology, Cardiology, Respiratory Medicine and Infectious Diseases 1970-72; HP, SHO, Registrar

Newcastle General Hospital 1972-2009 Neurosurgery & Neuropathology; SHO, Registrar, SR, Consultant

MRC Neuroendocrinology Unit 1980-1985 Clinical Scientist and Hon Neuropathologist

Consultant Neuropathologist 1986-2009


Principal Fields of Interest: Cardiology, Neurology, Neuropathology, Dementia, Neuropsychiatric Disorders, Neurooncology, Mitochondrial Diseases

Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), Parkinson's disease without (PD) and with dementia (PDD), and normal elderly with "incidental" Lewy bodies:  Identification of clinical, pathological, and neurochemical features of DLB and differentiation from PD and PDD using neuropathological, clinical features (case note reviewed), and histo/neurochemical, parameters [autopsies on patients dying in psychiatric and neurologic institutions - principally referred by Garry Blessed (GB) Andrew Fairbairn (AF) and colleagues, and Neurologists, pathologists and general physicians = controls patients]. Initially termed  'Atypical dementia' (1980-88) and SDLT (Senile Dementia of Lewy Body Type 1988-95) DLB was differentiated from cases of Alzheimer's Disease (AD), PD, PDD, Diffuse Lewy Body Disease (DLBD), and 'incidental' Lewy body formation in normal elderly. In PD a significant number of cases had a dementing syndrome, and a cholinergic deficit was reported in both PD and PDD, and patients dying with PDD noted to have either no or a variable amount of Alzheimer pathology usually not amounting to concomitant Alzheimer's disease. "Incidental" Lewy body disease in the normal elderly (<3% in 135cases) was found at least 50% below that previously reported. These first reports of DLB (1988 to 1992 - combined with PDD = Lewy Body Dementia - LBD) lead to an International symposium on DLB in Newcastle in 1995  - jointly organized by RP, Elaine Perry and Ian McKeith (Clinical Psychiatrist from 1992, GB retired in 1988) and the first (and subsequent) Report of the DLB Consortium.

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and DLB Neurochemistry (with EK Perry) identification of cholinergic deficiet, biochemical and histochemical observations; quantitation of cholinergicparameters of Nucleus of Meynert neurone loss in AD and PD and DLB, Neurotransmitter and Receptor analysis, including autoradiography of hemispheric brain slices; identification of serotonergic, monoaminergic, and gabergic deficits in normal elderly and dementia.  Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) research (including the youngest case report), and recognition of clinical, pathological, and neurochemical features of a change in FTD phenotype expression in the elderly (over 65/70years) including memory loss and clinical differentiation from cases clinically classified as 'atypical AD'. Neurofilament Inclusion Disease (NID) first identification of the entity Intermediate Neurofilament Disease. and later reports  with national and international colleagues. Mitochondrial Diseases histollogical, quantitative and Immunohistochemical observations on the brains of patients with mitochondrial disorders - with Evelyn Jaros, D Turnbull, P Chinnery; case and other reports on Mental deficiency, Paediatric neurological disorders, autism, Factor X deficiency, Depression

Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource (NBTR) / Brain Bank: established the NBTR in Neuropathology (1975), extended to MRC Unit 1981. Use of postmortem and biopsied fixed and frozen human brain tissue for combined clinical diagnosis, research, quantitation, and genetic studies - both in Newcastle for national and international collaborative research. Established initial parameters for sampling and freezing brain tissue, including characterization of  human brain and organ temperatures after death, slow versus rapid brain freezing techniques, influence of circadian variations (with EKP), optimum brain removal and dissection conditions, optimum dissection techniques for freezing and fixing dissected human brain, novel macro- and microchemical dissection techniques, optimal preparation of synaptosomes (with John Hardy), enzyme histo- and immunohistochemical parameters. Human Brain Dissection Guide devised as an idealized Brodmann Area Coronal Brain Map with identification of individual slices (33 total) identified by internal brain landmarks and frontal/occipital pole ratios (with Arthur Oakley and Mary Johnson); Development of Large Format Cryostat for whole study of brain slices - and modifications to Brights cryostat machinary; Microanatomical dissection for neurochemistry of Nucleus of Meynert and Amygdaloid using micropunches adapted from neurosurgery, and neurochemistry of neocortical layers using supercooled liquid nitrogen and cortical column preservation; MRI in postmortem brain tissue - coronal slices and whole hemispheres - initial studies with Philip English (Dept of Radiology NGH) - subsequent research combined with Professor John O'Brien and Professor Paul Ince;

Related Neuroscience Research: Fibrillary forms of small neuropeptides initiation of research and identification using electron microscopic techniques (with Arthur Oakley, Peter Sherwood, John Candy, and EKP); subsequent physiological studies (AEO JC J Boakes); Neuroanatomical cholinergic studies during human brain development - with JC, EKP- Nucleus of Meynert; amygdala; Identification of Peptidergic nuclei and Tracts in the human brain with JC and physiology colleagues; Tumour Research and Paediatric Neurooncology with Andrew Pearson, EJ, Dr Lunec; Pituitary Tumours - peptidergic content; Schizophrenia; Huntington's Chorea; Down's Syndrome identification of elderly cases of elderly cases with minimal Alzheimer-type pathology and no obvious development of clinical features of dementia; identification of a subset of DS cases with Lewy body formation in the brainstem and cerebral hemispheres (with colleagues GB, CKN, BB (Prudhoe Hospital), Dr K Day (Northgate Hospital); and after 1986 collaboration with Professor D Kay, Dr S Tyrer, and colleagues.


Neuropathology and associated tuition to medical students, students, trainees, and colleagues.