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Professor John Duncan FMedSci

Job Title
Professor of Neurology
Institute of Neurology
University College London (UCL)
Year elected



clinical epilepsy, application of structural and functional brain imaging, medical and surgical treatment of epilepsy

Section committee elected by

Medical specialties (excluding oncology, neurology) and paediatrics

Professor John Duncan is Head of the Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy at the Institute of Neurology, UCL. He has pioneered a world-class research programme into the mechanisms and consequences of epilepsy, based on the application of advanced imaging methods to study patients. The surgical treatment for epilepsy has been revolutionised by the introduction of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and his achievements include the use of diffusion tensor imaging, magnetisation transfer ratio imaging, fastFLAIR T2 imaging and double inversion recovery imaging to reveal occult neocortical abnormalities in patients with refractory epilepsy: This is important because 50 % of these patients have no abnormalities on conventional MRI scans. He has used novel MR approaches to identify accelerated loss of hippocampal volume in patients with frequent seizures and to study changes in two brain neurotransmitters, GABA and glutamate, and has painstakingly explored clinico-pathological relationships between MR images and post-mortem structure The work using MR approaches has been complemented by studies of positron emission tomography (PET) carried out in collaboration with the cyclotron unit at the Hammersmith Hospital. This has allowed exploration of the release of endogenous opioids, which are now thought to be important in the termination of seizures and may also contribute to post-ictal confusion and respiratory depression. Using flumazenil to identify GABA receptors he has demonstrated abnormalities suggestive of neuronal migration disturbances which are not apparent on conventional imaging. His work has had a direct impact on patient management.

Springboard Award Holders Annual Event 18 – 19 June 2019

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INSPIRE Sharing Conference 2019

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Mentoring Masterclass - London - 27 June 2019

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