Meet our researchers: Dr Rohan De Silva and neurodegenerative conditions

A successful graduate of Brain Research Trust funded PhD studentships at UCL Institute of Neurology, Dr Rohan de Silva's current research project is to focus on the levels of tau proteins in cerebrospinal fluid.

Cerebrospinal fluid circulates around the brain and spinal cord. Often, when the brain has been damaged due to stroke, infection or cell loss, components of the damaged cells leaks out into the cerebrospinal fluid.

The research is designed to understand how the levels of tau proteins in the cerebrospinal fluids related to the development of neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and PSP.

Clinicians would then be able to make more accurate diagnoses of these conditions, which will help when choosing treatments and care options.

The ability to measure changes in the tau protein could also assist in identifying individuals who are more at risk of developing a condition like PSP in their later life. This will be important when testing novel preventive and therapeutic approaches to bring tau protein back to normal, healthy levels.