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11 March, 2014 - 10:29 By News Desk

Dementia detective wins The Brain Prize

Professor Trevor Robbins

Star neuroscientist, Professor Trevor Robbins has brought another international accolade to the Cambridge UK medical technology cluster.

A mastermind of the core technology behind AIM-quoted Cambridge Cognitions, Prof Robbins has been awarded the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize – ‘The Brain Prize’ 2014.

Cambridge Cognition specialises in computerised neuropsychological tests including those enabling the early detection of dementia; the business is in the front line of UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s campaign to battle dementia. Prof Robbins is co-inventor of CANTAB, the IP engine that drives Cambridge Cognition.

The Brain Prize recognises and rewards outstanding contributions to European neuroscience, from basic to clinical. Prof Robbins’ research has spanned the areas of cognitive neuroscience, behavioural neuroscience and psychopharmacology: His main body of work has focused on the functions of the frontal lobes of the brain and their connections with other regions.

It is this research that led to Robbins co-inventing the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) with Professor Barbara Sahakian. The CANTAB computerised neuropsychological tests, are now used worldwide to sensitively conduct cognitive research by over 500 leading research institutions and assess the effectiveness and safety of new treatments in over 150 clinical trials.

Since its invention in 1986, CANTAB has been used to quantify mental and neurological function and its application in research has led to significant advances in our understanding of psychiatric and neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, dementia, schizophrenia, depression, drug addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. These discoveries are documented in over 1,300 peer-reviewed papers.

In winning The Brain Prize 2014, Prof. Robbins’ contribution to the advancement of neuroscience research has been recognised internationally and he joins an elite group of distinguished scientists to have won the accolade.

Dr Andy Blackwell, chief scientific officer at Cambridge Cognition who trained under Professors Robbins and Sahakian, said: “All the team at Cambridge Cognition are thrilled that Professor Robbins has been awarded The Brain Prize.

“He has inspired, motivated and mentored a generation of cognitive neuroscientists and we are honoured to work alongside him in translating his fundamental scientific discoveries into innovative healthcare technologies that improve patient lives.”

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