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Euro Huntington's disease network [logo]
Locations - U.K. - Study Site Birmingham -
Prof Hugh Rickards
Neuropsychiatrist, SBAC, Investigateur principal, Evaluateur moteur, Evaluateur psychiatrique/comportemental
The Barberry National Centre for Mental Health, Department of Neuropsychiatry
Adresse: 25 Vincent Drive, Edgbaston
B15 2FG Birmingham
téléphone: +44 121 3012290
fax: +44 121 301 2291

The Barberry Centre

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Location map

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By train: The Barberry Centre is located only a 5 minute walk away from University train station. Turn right out of the train station and walk up to the roundabout. Then turn left onto Vincent Drive and you’ll see the entrance to the Barberry Centre located approximately 250 metres on your left.
By bus: Buses 98 and 99 leave Cooperation Street, Birmingham City Centre (outside the Square Peg) and arrives at Vincent Drive stop (UB) University Station, Birmingham University, approximately 20 minutes later. You can then follow the walking directions (above) to reach the Barberry Centre from Vincent drive bus stop.
By car: From the M5 – exit at junction 4 onto the A38, direction Longbridge. Continue on the A38 (Bristol Road South) into Selly Oak until you see a signpost to the left to the QE Hospital at a junction with a large sainsburys. Turn left onto Harborne Lane and continue until you come to a large roundabout. Turn right at the roundabout onto Metchley Lane, then right onto Metchley Park Road where the car parking for the hospitals are located immediately on the left hand side. There are shuttle buses from the car park to The Barberry Centre but if you would prefer to walk, walk back down to the bottom of Metchley Lane, turn left onto Vincent Drive at the roundabout and the hospital is located approximately 100 metres on the right hand side.There is also parking directly outside the clinic for disabled badge holders.

Appointments at the Birmingham HD clinic

The HD clinics serve people across the West Midlands region including Walsall, Wolverhampton, Worcester and Rugby. Clinics are held in the out-patient department at the Barberry Centre, Birmingham every 2nd and 3rd Tuesday of the month from 2pm-5pm. Research HD clinics are held on the 4th (and 5th) Tuesdays of every month. An HD clinic is also held at the Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry on the first Monday of March, June, September and December.

Genetic counselling clinics for HD take place on the first Friday of each month at the QE Hospital. This service provides information, genetic counselling, diagnosis, management and support to individual patients and their families.
Consultant Neurologist – Dr Andrew Norman
Lead Genetic Counsellor – Jo Haydon

  • Referrals to the HD service by a GP or Consultant are typically required.
  • An hour is scheduled for a new patient’s appointment.
  • Routine follow-up appointments typically last 15 minutes.
  • A combined Euro-HD REGISTRY and general follow-up appointment is also available - these last up to an hour and half.
  • It would be very helpful if patients could bring with them their current medication details and any change in contact/GP details.
  • Any queries with an appointment, please contact Dr Rickards’ secretary, Sonia Thomas on 0121 3012290

The HD clinics at Birmingham

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Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a progressive neurological disorder with onset of symptoms typically developing in adulthood. Although the symptoms experienced tend to differ from one person to the next, they characteristically include involuntary movements, cognitive decline and behavioural problems. HD is also an autosomal dominant genetic disorder, which means that each person who has a parent with HD has a 50% chance of inheriting the disease themselves.

Although there is currently no cure for HD, there are many ways to help manage the symptoms, which is where our multi-disciplinary team can help. Medication can be used to help treat symptoms such as involuntary movements and mood changes; occupational therapists can help with patients managing their daily living; speech and language therapists can help with improving any difficulties with speech and swallowing and the dietitian can provide advice about preventing weight loss with a high calorie diet.

Who to contact...

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The multi-disciplinary HD team at the Birmingham site include:

Consultant Neuropsychiatrist:       Dr Hugh Rickards

Occupational Therapists:              Louise Oakley
                                                 Rebecca Devlin

Speech & Language Therapist:     Amy Dalton

Dietitian:                                    Judith Munn

Researchers:                              Kerry Gibson (Physiotherapist Research Fellow)
                                                 Dr Clare Eddy (Senior Research Fellow)
                                                 Dr Jenny De Souza (Senior Research Fellow)
                                                 Ellice Parkinson (Research Fellow)
                                                 Jan Wright (Research Nurse)

HD Regional Care Advisor:          Poppy Hill

Secretary:                                 Tina Lewis

For more information about about the Enroll-HD study and other HD research in Birmingham, please contact Ellice Parkinson on 0121 301 4337.

Research at Birmingham

Ongoing Research Projects:

Euro-HD REGISTRY – pilot Birmingham has been an active contributing site to REGISTRY since November 2005.

Upcoming and active research projects:

Lymphocyte study in HD – pilot study investigating the lymphocyte profiles of people with HD (pre-manifest and manifest) compared to controls.
Validation of the AMPS in HD – the assessment of motor and processing skills is an occupational therapy tool used to assess functional skills. The study aims to validate this tool in the HD population.
Imaging in social cognition tasks – the study aims to find out more about reasoning processes in HD, and to investigate possible changes in brain activity in HD using functional MRI techniques. People in different stages of HD and those without the gene expansion will be asked to take part. 

Recently Completed Research Projects:

ACR-16 clinical trial – Birmingham is involved in recruiting people to this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of ACR-16, a dopaminergic stabiliser that has the ability to stabilise behavioural and motor disturbances without compromising normal thought processes or motor function.
The familiality of psychiatric symptoms in HD – 100 sibling pairs affected with HD and any willing unaffected siblings who have had a negative genetic test will be recruited to this study from HD clinics throughout the UK.
Horizon trial. This is a phase III trial of dimebon which is thought to enhance mitochondrial function in neurodegenerative disorders.
Nabilone Treatment Trial – 44 HD patients were recruited to take part in a pilot study investigating the use of nabilone in the symptomatic treatment of HD. Data on this trial are now published (Curtis et al. Movement Disorders 2009. 24(5):2254-2259).
Validation of depression rating scales – 50 patients were recruited to participate in a study to determine the validity of self-report depression rating scales in assessing depression presence and absence in HD. (Keylock et al. Movement Disorders 2009 in Press).
Ethyl-EPA treatment trialBirmingham was one of the sites involved in the multi-centre, double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment trial of Ethyl-EPA.