Professor Nigel Hoggard
MD, MRCP, FRCR
Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease
Professor of Neuroradiology
+44 114 215 9607
Full contact details
Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease
Royal Hallamshire Hospital
I joined the University of Sheffield in 2006 with interests in adult diagnostic neuroradiology and novel MR imaging agents. Prior to that I had been an NHS Consultant Neuroradiologist at the Manchester Neurosciences Centre, Hope Hospital Salford from 2003. I have been Professor of Neuroradiology since 2018.
I have published over 90 peer reviewed articles.
- Research interests
My research interests remain primarily centred on the diagnostic applications of MR imaging in radiology with a particular emphasis on neuroscience and the cerebellum in particular. I work closely with Prof Marios Hadjivassiliou, we are part of the SIGReD group founded by Marios, a multi-disciplinary research group focussed on gluten related diseases. We have published numerous articles on gluten ataxia and brain imaging in gluten sensitivity.
The cerebellum is a small part of the brain that never the less contains over half of the neurons. It represents a highly compact system for combining and analysing information subconsciously for the rest of the brain, it can be thought of as the brain’s own supercomputer. It is designed to compare feedback information such as where is my hand in space to pre-existing models held in the cerebellum and then feed-forward into motor commands to ensure movements coordinated in real time such as would be required for catching a ball.The cerebellum not only helps the brain to control balance and coordination of movement but is now having its role in control of emotion, language and cognition gradually revealed. When it is damaged patients may be affected by falls and feel clumsy. They may lose the ability to walk, speak normally, use utensils or dress themselves and quite frequently may have to use a wheel chair as it becomes more severe.
The cerebellum is affected by a wide range of diseases including genetic conditions, degenerative conditions, alcohol and auto-immunity related diseases. There are new treatments being developed for diseases affecting the cerebellum but trials are hampered by the lack of suitable ways to measure their effectiveness. In dementia and MS many trial outcomes are based on MR imaging techniques as a well as clinical changes in the patients. But because the cerebellum’s activity is subconscious and represents feedback control beneath the surface it is difficult to measure clinically. Our group’s research is focussed on assessment of the cerebellum with advanced MR imaging based techniques. In particular, there is a need for measurements in the autoimmune cerebellar diseases and aggressive degenerative cerebellar disease such as MSA-C.
Gluten sensitivity, as well as causing ataxia, can be associated with accelerated white matter small vessel disease and imaging to assess this and the evaluation the blood brain barrier is an area of great interest to us in SIGReD. We recently published a paper demonstrating cognitive and structural brain changes in patients with coeliac ideas from the UK BioBank study in Gastroenterology. We have been recently funded by the Peter Sowerby Foundation to investigate the potential consequences of gluten possessing antibodies gliadins in the blood, which affects about 10% of the UK population, on brain structure and neuro-cognitive performance.
I have been heavily involved in the UK and European response to the evidence of the accumulation of gadolinium in the brain in patients after routine administration of gadolinium based contrast agents for MR scans.I co-chaired the PRAC which recommended to the Human Medicines agency to restrict the use of linear structure gadolinium based contrast agents in the European Union.
- Cognitive deficit and white matter changes in persons with celiac disease: a population-based study. Gastroenterology. View this article in WRRO
- Causes of progressive cerebellar ataxia: prospective evaluation of 1500 patients.. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 88, 301-309.
- T1 hyperintensity on brain imaging subsequent to gadolinium-based contrast agent administration: what do we know about intracranial gadolinium deposition?. British Journal of Radiology, 90(1069).
- Phenytoin for neuroprotection in patients with acute optic neuritis: a randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial. The Lancet Neurology, 15(3), 259-269.
- Magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the normal cerebellum: what degree of variability can be expected?. Cerebellum, 12(2), 205-211.
- Some patients with irritable bowel syndrome may have exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol, 8(5), 433-438.
- The high incidence and bioethics of findings on magnetic resonance brain imaging of normal volunteers for neuroscience research.. J Med Ethics, 35(3), 194-199.
- Teaching interests
I am the lead for the Sheffield academic clinical radiology training scheme and Deputy Lead for the Sheffield academic training programme. The Sheffield radiology training scheme continues to show strong success developing academic radiologists all the way from thesis to tenured full time academic posts. I teach on the Neurology MSc course, the Sheffield Fundamentals of Neuroradiology course and the National ENT radiology Masterclass.
- Professional activities
- Editor-in-Chief British Journal of Radiology 2013-2016.
- Expert Advisory Panel member, Commission for Human Medicines/MHRA 2009-present.
- Expert Advisory Panel member, European Medicines Agency 2016.
- Cancer Peer reviewer 2012-2013.
- Member of the Royal College of Radiologists FRCR part I examination committee 2011-2014.
- NIHR doctoral research fellowship selection panel member 2011 and 2013-present.
- NIHR IAT panel for competitive bids for ACF and ACL posts 2015-present.
- Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Research Lead for the Directorate of Radiology 2008-present.
- Member of the Sheffield Regional Ethics committee 2006-2012.