Ageing, Geratology and Degenerative Diseases
Research in Oxford in this area ranges from clinical to basic science. Particular strengths include vascular disease, neurodegeneration, acute illness in older people, trials and brain imaging.
The Oxford University Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust runs many specialist clinical services covering conditions of particular relevance to older people including for example, falls, TIA and stroke, rapid access and acute ambulatory care, heart failure, percutaneous cardiac valvular interventions, Parkinson's Disease, memory disorders and cataract. Research in Oxford covers many of the above areas and ranges from clinical to basic science. Particular strengths include vascular disease, neurodegeneration, acute illness in older people, trials and brain imaging.
The Stroke Prevention Research Unit was established in 2002 and has a world leading reputation in neuroepidemiology, the application of clinical trials data to individuals, blood pressure and vascular disease, cancer epidemiology, cognitive screening and vascular and stroke-associated dementia. The Stroke Prevention Research Unit incorporates the Oxford Vascular Study (OXVASC), the world's largest prospective study of acute vascular events occurring within a defined population of over 90,000 in Oxfordshire covered by five GP practices. The study has made a number of key discoveries leading to changes in the management of acute vascular disease and in national and international guidelines including on the emergency assessment and treatment of TIA and minor stroke. OXVASC includes ongoing studies on the cognitive impact of acute cerebrovascular events, interactions between vascular disease, acute illness and neurodegeneration and the prediction of dementia risk. The Thomas Willis Brain Collection contains one of the largest neuropathology collections in the UK including brains from the previous Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing (OPITMA), and ongoing Brains for Dementia Research (BDR) study. Research projects include pathology, genetics and microstructure of aging and dementia, vascular disease including small vessel disease, and neuropathology of movement disorders and motor neuron disease.
The Oxford Parkinson's Disease and Motor Neuron Disease research centres incorporate large patient cohorts (OPDC - Discovery Cohort) and include clinical, imaging, genetic and biomarker studies for early diagnosis and potential intervention and basic science studies including disease models and stem cell research. The Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) collaborates broadly across a range of clinical areas and includes particular expertise in physics and advanced imaging analysis as well as in neurodegeneration and vascular/white matter disease.
The Clinical Geratology Department runs innovative ambulatory emergency medical units at Abingdon Community Hospital, (winner of the Guardian Award for Healthcare Innovation), and the John Radcliffe Hospital to provide non in-patient care where possible to frail complex older patients with acute illness. The ambulatory units and the Acute Medicine Department based at the John Radcliffe Hospital are the basis for ongoing studies into the associates and outcomes of older people with acute illness, particularly those with frailty including cognitive syndromes and delirium. These studies are complimented by collaborations with Oxford Brookes on in-patient aspects of older person care including dementia. The Nuffield Department of Population Health has expertise in the evaluation of service delivery including in comprehensive geriatric assessment. The Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Science runs studies on musculoskeletal ageing and has international expertise in the design of trials in rehabilitation and falls.