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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Research and education

Research history

We have a history of research going back to the 1960s, when Dr Philip Nichol first started developing research at the Mary Marlborough Lodge, and the 1970s, when the Rivermead Rehabilitation Centre started research into neurological conditions. The name Rivermead continues in the Rivermead Research Institute (our research base, which is in the OCE building).

Professor Derick Wade, a previous Clinical Director, is internationally well-known for his research and many publications. He retired in 2016. He continues to edit the journal, ‘Clinical Rehabilitation’.

We also have a long history of translating research into practice. For example there are at least five 'Rivermead' assessments that are used on a daily basis clinically around the world. Perhaps the best known are the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test and the Rivermead Mobility Index (both available in many languages).

Current research

We have close links with both the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University.

Current projects include:

  • functional MRI studies of phantom pain in upper limb amputees and possible treatments
  • treatment of visual neglect after stroke using prisms and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TCMS)
  • sleep quality and motor learning after stroke and head injury.

These are all in collaboration with the Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB) Department, University of Oxford

A recent paper is Makin TR, Scholz J, Henderson Slater D, Johansen-Berg H, Tracey I. (2015). Reassessing cortical reorganization in the primary sensorimotor cortex following arm amputation. Brain. 138:2140-6.

With the Engineering Department at the University of Oxford, we are collaborating with projects analysing human movement after upper limb amputation and designing a higher functioning electronic upper limb prosthesis for use in the less developed countries of the world.

We have strong links with the Movement Science Group at Oxford Brookes University and are engaged a number of projects with them.

Education and courses

We welcome many visitors from around the world each year, who join us for periods from a few days to several months.  We can provide desk space in the Rivermead Research Institute office, but visitors must find their own accommodation and catering.  We run a number of training courses.