Targeted deep brain stimulation reduced OCD symptoms, study shows

The debilitating behaviours and all-consuming thoughts which affect people with severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), could be significantly improved with targeted deep brain stimulation, according to the findings of a new study.

OCD is characterised by unwanted intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive stereotyped behaviours (compulsions- sometimes called rituals) and often means everyday activities become impossible for those with the condition. This repetitive and compulsive behaviour is commonly associated with either depressed mood or impairment in cognitive flexibility – an inability to flexibly adapt to changing situations.

OCD

Spotlight on Science talk on 16 April: Air Pollution: past, present and future

Tuesday 16 April 2019 6pm-7.30pm St George's, University of London Hunter Wing, rooms H2.6/8

The impact of air pollution on health is a concern for all those living in towns and cities throughout the world.

london sky line

Congratulations to our new graduates

On 14 March over 1,900 students from St George's, University of London and Kingston University crossed the stage at South Bank's Royal Festival Hall to graduate from their courses.

Students from the Departments of Paramedics, Radiography, Rehabilitation Services, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Care and Teacher Education took part, accompanied by family, friends and the academics that have taught them throughout their time with the University.

SGUL Graduation 2018

First Mental Health Nurses’ Day a step in right direction, says expert

The introduction of a Mental Health Nurses' Day is a step forward in helping people understand the crucial role these specialist nurses play in supporting service users and challenging stigma that still surrounds mental illness, according to an expert from Kingston University and St George's, University of London.

Professor of Mental Health Nursing Mary Chambers said the new awareness day, created by the Royal College of Nursing, comes at an important time - with mental health 'receiving long overdue recognition' after the government announced a number of new initiatives in the latest Budget.


Research into opioid painkillers could provide clues for safer drug development

Researchers have taken a step closer to understanding the body’s response to opioid painkillers such as morphine and fentanyl, which could lead to the development of safer opioid drugs.

Opioids are a class of powerful painkillers used to treat moderate to severe pain. They act on the nervous system, stimulating opioid receptors which then block pain. But continued use can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms, partly because the body’s tolerance builds up quickly and pain control diminishes.Now, research published in ‘Nature Communications’ has identified the specific molecular mechanisms in the body which respond to the opioids and cause this increasing tolerance. Dr Alexis Bailey at St George’s, University of London was part of the research team, which was led by Professor Schulz of Jena University Hospital, Germany. The researchers developed genetically modified mice that lacked phosphorylation sites of the ‘mu’ (µ) opioid receptor, the target of opioid painkillers in the central nervous system. These mice subsequently built up very little tolerance to opioids such as fentanyl and morphine. As a result, the painkilling effect of these drugs was dramatically increased. But the side effects of the drugs, such as constipation, respiratory depression and withdrawal symptoms, remained unchanged or were exacerbated. The researchers’ findings show that tolerance and dependence are two dissociable phenomena governed by separate molecular mechanisms. While it had been demonstrated that these “mu” phosphorylation sites played a role in opioid tolerance in cells, this is the first time it has been proven in animal models. In 2017, 23.8 million prescriptions were dispensed for opioids such as tramadol in England – one for every two adults. Hospital admissions in the UK involving opioid overdoses have almost doubled in a decade to 2017. Dr Alexis Bailey, Lecturer in Neuropharmacology at St George’s, said: “So-called ‘safe opioids’ that are less likely to result in dependence, tolerance and risk of accidental overdose have been the Holy Grail of opioid research. This study takes us a step closer to understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms of how they work on the body, which is an absolute prerequisite to devising new strategies for drug development.”

opiod pills