Surprising new research suggests clearance of toxins may decrease during sleep, rather than increase

A new study led by Professor Bill Wisden, UK DRI Interim Director, and Professor Nick Franks, has gained national coverage for it's surprising results which challenge a dominant theory in neuroscience as to why we sleep.

In the paper, published in Nature Neuroscience, the researchers used a fluorescent dye in the brains of mice to directly measure the rate of clearance. The results showed 30% reduction in clearance during sleep, compelling counterevidence for the brain clearance theory of why we sleep.

Read the full news story on the UK DRI website.

mission and strategic overview

Michael Uren building

Our Mission

The UK DRI Centre at Imperial is well aligned with the mission of the UK DRI to pursue innovative, early-stage science advancing an understanding of how dementias develop. We are working to translate our new discoveries into new therapies. Our innovation comes from our highly interdisciplinary team. We make a unique contribution to the UK DRI with remit that integrates large population ‘omics studies with multi-omic neuropathology to discover how genetics, environment and lifestyle together initiate the cellular phases of Alzheimer’s (AD) and Parkinson’s (PD) diseases and how these can be modulated therapeutically.

By planning and executing our science openly and collaboratively with that in other Centres across the UK DRI, we are achieving more and doing so more confidently and quickly.

Collage of paper titles

Read our Research

The UK DRI Centre at Imperial has twelve distinct research programmes working on the South Kensington, White City and Hammersmith campuses.

Learn more about our research

Professor Paul Matthews, Associate Director of the UK Dementia Research Institute explains the centre at Imperial.

UK DRI Centre at Imperial

Professor Paul Matthews outlines the role of the Centre at Imperial within the UK DRI. Here he describes the multidisciplinary research activity of our centre, how we are building capacity, supporting early career researchers and how we are developing collaborations nationally and internationally.