Five teens in a row, chins resting in hands

Brain development in children and adolescents


How do children’s brains develop and change as they grow older? We would like your help to study this using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE? Healthy children and adolescents aged between 6-18 years.

WHY PARTICIPATE? To help us to understand how the brain changes from childhood to adulthood. You will be contributing to research, which may help people with mental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

You will be reimbursed for your travel and parking costs to the clinic and every participant will receive two movie tickets and a picture of their brain to take home with them!

For more information visit Prof Rhoshel Lenroot’s page.

Thinking about participating? Click here to find out what it’s like to have an MRI.

See what’s going on at NeuRA


Abdominal muscle stimulation to improve bowel function in spinal cord injury

Bowel complications, resulting from impaired bowel function, are common for people living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). As a result, people with a SCI have high rates of bowel related illness, even compared with those with other neurological disorders. This includes high rates of abdominal pain, constipation, faecal incontinence and bloating. These problems lower the quality of life of people with a SCI and place a financial burden on the health system. A treatment that improves bowel function for people with a SCI should reduce illness, improve quality of life and lead to a large cost saving for health care providers. Bowel problems have traditionally been managed with manual and pharmacological interventions, such as digital rectal stimulation, enemas, and suppositories. These solutions are usually only partially effective, highlighting the need for improved interventions. The abdominal muscles are one of the major muscle groups used during defecation. Training the abdominal muscles should improve bowel function by increasing abdominal pressure. During our previous Abdominal FES research with people with a SCI, we observed that Abdominal FES appeared to lead to more consistent and effective bowel motion. However, this evidence remains anecdotal. As such, we are going to undertake a large randomised controlled trial to investigate the effectiveness of Abdominal FES to improve the bowel function of people with a SCI. This study will make use of a novel measurement system (SmartPill, Medtronic) that can be swallowed to measure whole gut and colonic transit time. We will also assess whether Abdominal FES can change constipation-related quality of life and the use of laxatives and manual procedures, as well as the frequency of defecation and the time taken. A positive outcome from this study is likely to lead to the rapid clinical translation of this technology for people living with a SCI.