Our research aims to apply knowledge and practice from neuropsychology to improve stroke and dementia care. Neuropsychology refers to the study of the relation between brain function and behaviour, emotion, and cognition. We aim to integrate neuropsychology into clinical practice by collaborating with multiple different health professionals.
This video featured by the BBC highlights some of our research in stroke.
Our research is organised under three main sections:
1. Cognitive Screening Tools ~ Cognitive Snapshot Tools
The Oxford Cognitive Screen (OCS)
Commonly after a stroke, people have changes in specific thinking abilities (cognition). These may include difficulties with understanding, reading, writing, remembering, spatial awareness and planning activities. The OCS was made to briefly assess these stroke-specific changes in thinking abilities.
The Oxford Cognitive Screen is now well known in the stroke clinical community, with >1200 licenced stroke settings.
This is a computerised tablet-based test that was developed to detect subtle changes in thinking abilities, which may occur not just after stroke, but also with general ageing (i.e., those without any medical conditions who are just aging naturally), mild cognitive impairment (a milder or less impactful version of dementia), and other conditions which may impact thinking abilities to some extent.
The Oxford digital Multiple Errands Task (OxMET)
This is a computerised tablet-based test that was developed to test executive functioning, in a test that is closely mapped to real life complex planning and actions. Here, participants are asked to plan and complete a virtual shopping trip following a set of rules.
A brief tablet-based assessment of mental abilities aligned with the core criteria for assessing mental capacity to make a decision. These tests specifically are focussed around understanding, remembering and weighing up information.
Visual Perception Screening
Brief paper-based and computerised tablet-based screening tool for vision and perceptual difficulties after stroke
2. Clinical Research Topics
The OCS-Recovery project aims to assess short- and medium-term recovery of specific cognitive problems detected the Oxford Cognitive screen. Stroke survivors are assessed in hospital and then followed up 6 months later.
The OX-CHRONIC project, aims to determine the prevalence, nature, trajectories and wider impact of cognitive changes in long term stroke survivors. For this project, we are following up people who had their stroke at least 2 years ago.
Understanding how brain changes affect thinking abilities
In order to understand which parts of the networks in the brain that are responsible for a given mental ability, we look at associations between stroke damage to areas of the brain and how people perform on different assessments. We use standard NHS clinical brains scans taken as part of routine care when in hospital.
3. Fundamental attention research
Visuo-spatial Neglect ~ Neglecting to pay attention
Research into the different types of issues with inattention to parts of our surroundings, termed visuo-spatial (i.e., what we see in our surroundings in space) neglect (i.e., neglecting to pay attention)
Executive Attention ~ higher level mental abilities
Research into higher level abilities, such as planning and paying attention to what’s happening around us over time