Publications

The latest list of publications from the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre with a brief summary. 

If you are publishing research which has had funding and / or support from the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, please complete this form

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Publication: Nature Neuroscience

Andrea I. Luppi, Pedro A. M. Mediano, Fernando E. Rosas, Negin Holland, Tim D. Fryer, John T. O’Brien, James B. Rowe, David K. Menon, Daniel Bor & Emmanuel A. Stamatakis

26 May 2022


Researchers investigated functional interactions between brain regions into synergistic and redundant components, revealing their information-processing roles.

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Publication: HGG Advances

Courtney E. French, Helen Dolling, Karyn Mégy, Alba Sanchis-Juan, Ajay Kumar, Isabelle Delon, Matthew Wakeling, Lucy Mallin, Shruti, Agrawal, Topun Austin, Florence Walston, Soo-Mi Park, Alasdair, Parker, Chinthika Piyasena, Kimberley Bradbury, Sian Ellard, David H.Rowitch, LucyRaymond

24 May 2022


Summary

More than a third of severely sick babies referred for rapid whole genome sequencing received a vital genetic diagnosis. Results from the latest Cambridge genomic study supported by NIHR Cambridge BRC and NIHR BioResource, confirm rapid whole genome sequencing (WGS) as an effective early test to aid diagnosis in severely ill children. Read the full story. 

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Publication: JAMA Pediatrics

Soren Brage

23 May 2022


This was a randomised controlled trial examining the effect of restricting screen use in 89 families living in Denmark. Children in intervention families reduced their objectively measured sedentary time by 45 min/day, which was significantly more than the 1 min/day increase observed in children from control families.

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Publication: Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare

Albert Koulman, Kirsten L Rennie, Damon Parkington, Nicholas J Wareham

10 May 2022


The ability to collect a blood sample painlessly from people at home without the need of a healthcare worker visit could transform the way healthcare and health research are conducted. We demonstrated that a new device (OneDraw) could be successfully used by people in their own homes to collect a dried blood spot sample and be posted back using the normal postage system to the laboratory.

After demonstrating the method worked, it was used in the Fenland COVID-19 study where 10,647 samples were collected every 3-months in over 3,000 participants to measure whether COVID-19 antibodies were present in the blood. This was used to calculate the proportion of participants who had a past COVID-19 infection, with or without symptoms. A high proportion of participants were able to collect their own blood samples (89-93% at each timepoint) and almost all samples received were successfully processed (99.9%).

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly increased the adoption of “telehealth” where people communicate online and via the telephone with their healthcare teams and in health research. However, the gap has been how to collect blood samples remotely. During the early phases of the pandemic when home visits were not possible, the only feasible option was for people to take their own blood sample. This usually involves pricking a finger with a lancet and dropping blood onto special paper or into a blood tube. However, many people find this painful and the sample cannot always be reliably used for analysis due to contamination or insufficient blood sample.

This study showed that dried blood spot samples from the OneDraw device produced comparable results for assessing COVID-19 antibodies as standard blood samples taken by a needle in the arm by a trained healthcare worker. Participants also preferred the OneDraw device to the other methods and reported lower pain scores. Due to its ease of use and acceptability, the OneDraw device will be particularly useful for future telehealth applications, for example where people cannot travel to a clinical centre and repeat blood samples may be needed.

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Publication: eClinicalMedicine

Adam Hampshire, Doris A. Chatfield, Anne Manktelow, Amy Jolly, William Trender, Peter J. Hellyer, Martina Del Giovane, Virginia F.J. Newcombe, Joanne G. Outtrim, Ben Warne, Junaid Bhatti, Linda Pointon, Anne Elmer, Nyarie Sithole, John Bradley, Nathalie Kingston, Stephen J.Sawcer, Edward T. Bullmore, David K.Menon

3 May 2022


Summary

Cognitive impairment as a result of severe COVID-19 is similar to that sustained between 50 and 70 years of age and is the equivalent to losing 10 IQ points. The results of the study suggest the effects are still detectable more than six months after the acute illness, and that any recovery is at best gradual. Read the full story 

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Publication: Nature

V. Pellegrinelli, S. Rodriguez-Cuenca, C. Rouault, E. Figueroa-Juarez, H. Schilbert, S. Virtue, J. M. Moreno-Navarrete, G. Bidault, M. C. Vázquez-Borrego, A. R. Dias, B. Pucker, M. Dale, M. Campbell, S. Carobbio, Y. H. Lin, M. Vacca, J. Aron-Wisnewsky, S. Mora, M. M. Masiero, A. Emmanouilidou, S. Mukhopadhyay, G. Dougan, M. den Hoed, R. J. F. Loos, J. M. Fernández-Real, D. Chiarugi, K. Clément & A. Vidal-Puig

25 April 2022


Summary

New research shows that an enzyme produced by macrophages (immune system cells) in fat tissue plays an essential role in the loss of metabolic health in people with obesity and might serve as a biomarker to help us identify those at the highest risk of fibrosis, inflammation and insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes associated with obesity. It also identifies a potential target for drugs that might prevent or reverse metabolic disease and could throw light on a long-unexplained paradox. Read more.

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Publication: British Journal of Cancer

Jamie Trotman, Ruth Armstrong, Helen Firth, Claire Trayers, James Watkins, Kieren Allinson, James C. Nicholson, G. A. Amos Burke, Sam Behjati, Matthew J. Murray, Catherine E. Hook, Patrick Tarpey

22 April 2022


Summary

As part of the national 100,000 Genome Project, researchers recruited from 36 children, across 23 different solid tumour types. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) data from paired tumour (fresh-frozen tissue) and matched normal (blood) samples was analysed.  The results for each case were clinically reviewed at the Cambridge paediatric oncology Genomic Tumour Advisory Board (GTAB), and formal report of the results was written.

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Publication: JAMA Psychiatry

Soren Brage

13 April 2022


Depression is a disorder characterised by persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyable activities. It is the leading cause of mental health-related disease burden, affecting approximately 1 in 20 adults worldwide. Reviews of the scientific evidence have shown that depression may be prevented by physical activity, but the benefits at different levels of activity are unclear.

The aim of this study was to combine results from previously published studies to estimate the association between different levels of physical activity and depression. We searched medical databases for studies including at least 3000 adults published up until 12th November 2020. The studies had to report the risk of developing depression for at least three different levels of physical activity.

We included studies irrespective of how they measured physical activity. We standardised these measures to a common format so that the published results could be analysed together and make sense on the same physical activity scale. We estimated what proportion of depression cases would have been avoided if all adults in the studies met the current physical activity recommendations. We included 15 studies with 191,130 participants and found that even small doses of physical activity appeared to substantially lower risks of depression. Adults meeting physical activity recommendations (equivalent to 2.5 hrs/week of brisk walking) had 25% lower risk of depression compared with adults reporting no physical activity.

Our findings suggested that most benefits occurred when moving from no activity to at least some, and that only minor additional benefits were achieved by further increasing activity levels. Approximately 1 in 9 cases of depression might have been prevented if everybody in the population was active at the level of current health recommendations.

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Publication: BMJ Open

Linda A Jones, Jenny R Nelder, Joseph M Fryer, Philip H Alsop, Michael R Geary, Mark Prince, Rudolf N Cardinal

13 April 2022


Summary

Researchers have published results from a national survey of public opinion on sharing health data to support clinical care and research. Nearly 30,000 people took part in the anonymous survey online from February to September 2020, which was open to all UK residents to measure people’s opinions on health data and consent.

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Publication: European Journal of Preventive Cardiology

Nita Forouhi, Soren Brage, Nick Wareham

11 April 2022


This study aimed to evaluate the association between physical activity and the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) in individuals with and without CHD risk factors. In people with CHD risk factors, moderate physical activity, equivalent to 40 mins of walking per day, attenuates but does not completely offset CHD risk.

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Publication: Nature

R. A. I. Bethlehem, J. Seidlitz, S. R. White, J. W. Vogel, K. M. Anderson, C. Adamson, S. Adler, G. S. Alexopoulos, E. Anagnostou, A. Areces-Gonzalez, D. E. Astle, B. Auyeung, M. Ayub, J. Bae, G. Ball, S. Baron-Cohen, R. Beare, S. A. Bedford, V. Benegal, F. Beyer, J. Blangero, M. Blesa Cábez, J. P. Boardman, M. Borzage, J. F. Bosch-Bayard, N. Bourke, V. D. Calhoun, M. M. Chakravarty, C. Chen, C. Chertavian, G. Chetelat, Y. S. Chong, J. H. Cole, A. Corvin, M. Costantino, E. Courchesne, F. Crivello, V. L. Cropley, J. Crosbie, N. Crossley, M. Delarue, R. Delorme, S. Desrivieres, G. A. Devenyi, M. A. Di Biase, R. Dolan, K. A. Donald, G. Donohoe, K. Dunlop, A. D. Edwards, J. T. Elison, C. T. Ellis, J. A. Elman, L. Eyler, D. A. Fair, E. Feczko, P. C. Fletcher, P. Fonagy, C. E. Franz, L. Galan-Garcia, A. Gholipour, J. Giedd, J. H. Gilmore, D. C. Glahn, I. M. Goodyer, P. E. Grant, N. A. Groenewold, F. M. Gunning, R. E. Gur, R. C. Gur, C. F. Hammill, O. Hansson, T. Hedden, A. Heinz, R. N. Henson, K. Heuer, J. Hoare, B. Holla, A. J. Holmes, R. Holt, H. Huang, K. Im, J. Ipser, C. R. Jack Jr, A. P. Jackowski, T. Jia, K. A. Johnson, P. B. Jones, D. T. Jones, R. S. Kahn, H. Karlsson, L. Karlsson, R. Kawashima, E. A. Kelley, S. Kern, K. W. Kim, M. G. Kitzbichler, W. S. Kremen, F. Lalonde, B. Landeau, S. Lee, J. Lerch, J. D. Lewis, J. Li, W. Liao, C. Liston, M. V. Lombardo, J. Lv, C. Lynch, T. T. Mallard, M. Marcelis, R. D. Markello, S. R. Mathias, B. Mazoyer, P. McGuire, M. J. Meaney, A. Mechelli, N. Medic, B. Misic, S. E. Morgan, D. Mothersill, J. Nigg, M. Q. W. Ong, C. Ortinau, R. Ossenkoppele, M. Ouyang, L. Palaniyappan, L. Paly, P. M. Pan, C. Pantelis, M. M. Park, T. Paus, Z. Pausova, D. Paz-Linares, A. Pichet Binette, K. Pierce, X. Qian, J. Qiu, A. Qiu, A. Raznahan, T. Rittman, A. Rodrigue, C. K. Rollins, R. Romero-Garcia, L. Ronan, M. D. Rosenberg, D. H. Rowitch, G. A. Salum, T. D. Satterthwaite, H. L. Schaare, R. J. Schachar, A. P. Schultz, G. Schumann, M. Schöll, D. Sharp, R. T. Shinohara, I. Skoog, C. D. Smyser, R. A. Sperling, D. J. Stein, A. Stolicyn, J. Suckling, G. Sullivan, Y. Taki, B. Thyreau, R. Toro, N. Traut, K. A. Tsvetanov, N. B. Turk-Browne, J. J. Tuulari, C. Tzourio, É. Vachon-Presseau, M. J. Valdes-Sosa, P. A. Valdes-Sosa, S. L. Valk, T. van Amelsvoort, S. N. Vandekar, L. Vasung, L. W. Victoria, S. Villeneuve, A. Villringer, P. E. Vértes, K. Wagstyl, Y. S. Wang, S. K. Warfield, V. Warrier, E. Westman, M. L. Westwater, H. C. Whalley, A. V. Witte, N. Yang, B. Yeo, H. Yun, A. Zalesky, H. J. Zar, A. Zettergren, J. H. Zhou, H. Ziauddeen, A. Zugman, X. N. Zuo, E. T. Bullmore & A. F. Alexander-Bloch

6 April 2022


Summary

An international team of researchers has created a series of brain charts spanning our entire lifespan – from a 15 week old fetus to 100 year old adult – that show how our brains expand rapidly in early life and slowly shrink as we age. Read the full story.

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Publication: The Lancet Regional Health

Shanquan Chena, Tamsin J.Ford, Peter B.Jones, Rudolf N.Cardinal

29 March 2022


Summary

Public data from two surveys (Health Survey for England, UK; Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe) covered 19 European countries across EMHAP phases one (2011–2015) and two (2015–2018). People screening positive for depressive symptoms by self-report were included. The primary outcome was antidepressant use: using country-specific weighted regression models, researchers estimated temporal trends and subgroup disparities in antidepressant receipt, with secondary analysis by country-level measures including healthcare expenditure.

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Publication: BMJ Geriatrics

Shanquan Chen, Linda A Jones, Shan Jiang, Huajie Jin, Dong Dong, Xi Chen, Dan Wang, Yun Zhang, Li Xiang, Anna Zhu, Rudolf N Cardinal

4 March 2022


Summary

Older adults who live alone and have difficulties in activities of daily living (ADLs) may have been more vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, little is known about pandemic-related changes in ADL assistance (such as home care, domiciliary care) and its international variation.

Researchers examined international patterns and changes in provision of ADL assistance, and related these to country-level measures including national income and health service expenditure.

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Publication: PLOS Medicine

Shanquan Chen, Benjamin R Underwood , Peter B Jones, Jonathan R Lewis, Rudolf N Cardinal

18 March 2022


Summary

Among patients over 50 using mental health services at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, researchers observed an association between lithium use and a decreased risk of developing dementia.

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Publication: The Lancet

Tommy Nyberg, Prof Neil M Ferguson, Sophie G Nash, Harriet H Webster, Seth Flaxman, Nick Andrews, Wes Hinsley, Jamie Lopez Bernal, Meaghan Kall, Prof Samir Bhatt, Paula Blomquist, Asad Zaidi, Erik Volz, Nurin Abdul Aziz, Katie Harman, Prof Sebastian Funk, Sam Abbott, COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium, Russell Hope, Andre Charlett, Meera Chand, Prof Azra C Ghani, Shaun R Seaman,

17 March 2022


Summary

The omicron variant (B.1.1.529) of SARS-CoV-2 has demonstrated partial vaccine escape and high transmissibility, with early studies indicating lower severity of infection than that of the delta variant (B.1.617.2). We aimed to better characterise omicron severity relative to delta by assessing the relative risk of hospital attendance, hospital admission, or death in a large national cohort.

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Publication: Annals of Oncology

D. Gale, K. Heider, A. Ruiz-Valdepenas, S. Hackinger, M. Perry, G. Marsico, V. Rundell, J. Wulff, G. Sharma, H. Knock, J. Castedo, W. Cooper, H. Zhao, C.G. Smith, S. Garg, S. Anand, K. Howarth, D. Gilligan, S.V. Harden, D.M. Rassl, R.C. Rintoul, N. Rosenfeld

17 March 2022


Summary

Scientists from the Rosenfeld Group used a personalised blood test for patients, which is a type of liquid biopsy that can pick up tiny fragments of DNA that are released into the blood as tumours grow. This DNA, called circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), can reveal the state of the tumour, its location and potentially its weaknesses, which could be used to select the best treatments. Read the full story.

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Publication: MedRxiv

Kamen A Tsvetanov, Lennart R B Spindler, Emmanuel A Stamatakis, Virginia FJ Newcombe, Victoria C Lupson, Doris A Chatfield, Anne E Manktelow, Joanne G Outtrim, Anne Elmer, Nathalie Kingston, John R Bradley, Edward T Bullmore, James B Rowe, David K Menon

02 February 2022


Summary

COVID-19 have seen multi-system effects that include neurological, vascular and neurovascular injury. Acute neurological sequelae are common, ranging from mild dizziness, headaches and anosmia to severe encephalitis, stroke and delirium. Researchers assessed the impact of COVID-19 on chronic cerebrovascular reactivity after hospitalisation.

Patients were recruited through the NIHR COVID-19 BioResource. Eligibility was based on admission to Addenbrookes Hospital with COVID-19 between 10th March 2020 and 31st July 2020, aged 18 years or older, survived the acute illness, and attended for a follow up visit, and no contradictions to MRI.

 

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Publication: European Urology Open Science

Tristan Barrettab, Simon Paceyacde, Kelly Leonard, Jerome Wulff, Ionut-Gabriel Funinganacd,  Vincent Gnanapragasam

10 February 2022


Summary

Active surveillance (AS) is a preferred management option for men with prostate cancer with favourable prognosis. However, nearly half of men on AS switch to treatment within 5 years, so therapeutic strategies to prevent or delay disease progression could be considered.

Researchers explored image-based tumour responses and the patient impact of short-duration androgen-targeted therapy  to abrogate disease progression during AS.

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Publication: Nutrients

Marleen A. H. Lentjes, Linda M. Oude Griep, Angela A. Mulligan, Scott Montgomery, Nick J. Wareham and Kay-Tee Khaw

6 January 2022


Summary

Researchers studied how associations between meal patterns and non-fasting triglyceride and glucose concentrations were influenced by the hour of day at which the blood sample was collected to ascertain face validity of reported meal patterns, as well as the influence of reporting bias (assessed using formula of energy expenditure) on this association.

Meal size (i.e., reported energy content), mealtime and meal frequency were reported using pre-structured 7-day diet diaries. Associations between meal patterns and concentration biomarkers can be observed when accounting for diurnal variation and underreporting. These findings support the use of 7-day diet diaries for studying associations between meal patterns and health.

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Publication: Nutrients

Camille M. Mba, Albert Koulman, Nita G. Forouhi, Fumiaki Imamura, Felix Assah, Jean Claude Mbanya, and Nick J. Wareham

30 December 2021


Summary

A low intake of fruit and vegetables and a high intake of meat are associated with higher cardiometabolic disease risk; however much prior research has relied on subjective methods for dietary assessment and focused on Western populations.

Researchers aimed to investigate the association of blood folate as an objective marker of fruit and vegetable intake and holotranscobalamin (holoTC) as a marker of animal-sourced food intake with cardiometabolic risk factors. In conclusion, serum folate and holoTC were associated with the metabolic syndrome score in opposite directions. The positive association between serum holoTC and the metabolic syndrome score was partly dependent on sociodemographic characteristics. These findings suggest that, based on these biomarkers reflecting dietary intakes, public health approaches promoting a higher intake of fruit and vegetables may lower cardiometabolic risk factors in this population

 

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