The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
University and clinical practice helping to improve lives in the region and beyond
Delegates at a symposium on neurorehabilitation have heard how recent collaborations between psychologists at the University of Kent and clinicians from the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust will help improve the lives of many people in the region and beyond.
The symposium, which was organised and hosted by East Kent Neurorehabilitation Services, a division of the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, took place at Kent and Canterbury Hospital on 27 September. Among those attending were NHS clinical staff, nurses, therapists, management students, university researchers, and representatives from the pharmaceutical industry and private health care sector. Discussion topics focused on spasticity, its co-morbid impairments, and botulinum toxin therapy.
Dr Joachim Stoeber, Head of the University's School of Psychology, gave the opening address. During his address Dr Stoeber turned the spotlight on the work of Kent colleague Dr David Wilkinson and Dr Mohamed Sakel, Director/Consultant of Neurorehabilitation and Physician for the Trust, who have made significant gains with a project on hemi-spatial neglect - a common complication of a stroke in which people behave as if the left side of the world they live in does not exist.
Through Medical Research Council (MRC)-funded research, Dr Wilkinson, Dr Sakel and their team discovered that by repeatedly stimulating certain areas of the brain it may be possible to achieve a significant improvement of and aid long term recovery from the condition.
Dr Sakel said: 'Our research represents an achievement that the University and the Trust can be very proud of - because, if successful, our treatment will greatly improve the lives of many people suffering from hemi-spatial neglect not only here in Kent but worldwide.'
Dr Wilkinson commented: 'East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust is an important partner of the University, enabling researchers here to conduct basic and applied research to further our knowledge of medical conditions, their treatment and patient rehabilitation.'
Dr Wilkinson also explained that to date the team has tested over 50 participants in its MRC hemi-spatial neglect trial, some having travelled to Kent from Scotland. 'New external funding has also been obtained to apply the therapy to patients with other types of brain disorder,' he said.
Dr Stoeber added: 'Based on our shared aims and values I see great potential for future collaborations and research projects between the Trust and the University in general, and the School of Psychology in particular. We have a number of staff in the School with expertise in areas that are relevant to the Trust and the incredible work it is doing.'
Story published at 12:54pm 1 October 2012