Professional background

Dr Swayne completed pre-clinical training at Trinity College, Cambridge University, and then clinical training at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in London.

He underwent further post-graduate training as a physician in London and was awarded a PhD in Neuroscience at University College London, before completing his specialist training in neurology. The subject of his PhD was brain plasticity during recovery after stroke.

He was awarded a Patrick Berthoud Research fellowship and spent a year in the USA at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH). In 2013 he was appointed as a consultant neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery (NHNN) and at Northwick Park Hospital.

He is consultant neurologist to the Neurorehabilitation Unit, the NHNN's flagship level 1 unit based at Queen Square. He is also an honorary senior lecturer at the UCL Institute of Neurology.

Research interests

Dr Swayne has a specialist interest in neurorehabilitation, following on from his PhD work on brain plasticity during recovery from stroke. He has funding from the UCLH Biomedical Research Centre to investigate genetic influences on stroke recovery and to explore potential interventions to treat post-stroke hemispatal neglect.


Book chapters

  • Enhancement of Neuroplasticity by cortical stimulation OBC Swayne, JC Rothwell
    In: Oxford Textbook of Neurorehabilitation (Oxford Textbooks in Clinical Neurology)
    Edited by V Dietz & NS Ward, Oxford University Press, Feb 2015 (ISBN-13: 9780199673711)
  • Changes in cortical excitability and interhemispheric interactions after stroke
    P Talelli, OBC Swayne, JC Rothwell
    In: Brain repair after stroke
    Edited by S Cramer & R Nudo, Cambridge University Press 2010 (ISBN-13: 9780521515337)

PhD thesis

  • Motor recovery following ischaemic stroke in humans: insights from Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and imaging
    University College London 2011

Journal publications

  • Worsening confusion in a patient with HIV and a normal CD4 count
    Zarkali A, Gorgoraptis N, Miller RF, John L, Merve A, Thust SC, Jager HR, Kullmann D, Swayne OB,
    Practical Neurology 2017 Jan;17(1):42-46
  • N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antibody mediated encephalitis
    Mehta S, Szawarski P, Swayne O, Kullmann D, Howell D
    Br J Hosp Med 2012 Aug ; 73(8):472-3
  • Human theta burst stimulation enhances subsequent motor learning and increases performance variability
    JTH Teo*, OBC Swayne*, B Cheeran, RJ Greenwood, JC Rothwell
    Cerebral Cortex 2011 Jul; 21(7):1627-38 (*joint 1st author)
  • The Role of Contralesional Dorsal Premotor Cortex after Stroke as Studied with Concurrent TMS-fMRI
    Bestmann S*, Swayne O*, Blankenburg F, Ruff CC, Teo J, Weiskopf N, Driver J, Rothwell JC, Ward NS
    Journal of Neuroscience 2010 Sep 8;30(36):11926-37 (*joint 1st author)
  • What can man do without basal ganglia motor output? The effect of combined unilateral subthalamotomy and pallidotomy in a patient with Parkinson’s disease
    Obeso JA, Jahanshahi M, Alvarez L, Macias R, Pedroso I, Wilkinson L, Pavon N, Day B, Pinto S, Rodríguez-Oroz MC, Tejeiro J, Artieda J, Talelli P, Swayne O, Rodríguez R, Bhatia K, Rodriguez-Diaz M, Lopez G, Guridi J, Rothwell JC
    Experimental Neurology 2009 Dec; 220(2):283-92
  • The facilitatory effects of theta burst stimulation on corticospinal excitability are enhanced by nicotine
    OBC Swayne*, JTH Teo*, RJ Greenwood, JC Rothwell
    Clinical Neurophysiology 2009 Aug; 120(8):1610-5 (*joint 1st author)
  • Cerebellar ataxia after malaria
    Teo JT, Swayne OB, Silber E.
    Neurology 2009 Jul 7; 73(1):73-4
  • Differing effects of intracortical circuits on plasticity
    Teo JTH, Terranova C, Swayne OB, Greenwood RJ, Rothwell JC
    Experimental Brain Research 2009 Mar; 193(4):555-63
  • Stages of motor output reorganisation after hemispheric stroke suggested by longitudinal studies of cortical physiology
    OBC Swayne, JC Rothwell, NS Ward, RJ Greenwood
    Cerebral Cortex 2008 Aug; 18(8):1909-22
  • Age-dependent changes in the neural correlates of force modulation: an fMRI study
    NS Ward, OBC Swayne, JM Newton
    Neurobiology of Aging 2008 Sep; 29(9):1434-46
  • Dorsal premotor cortex exerts state-dependent causal influences on activity in contralateral primary motor and dorsal premotor cortex
    Bestmann S, Swayne O, Blankenburg F, Ruff CC, Haggard P, Weisskopf N, Jon Driver, Frackowiak R, Rothwell JC, Ward N
    Cerebral Cortex 2008 Jun; 18(6):1281-91
  • Contribution of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to the Understanding of Cortical Mechanisms involved in Motor Control
    J Reis*, OBC Swayne*, Y Vandermeeren, M Camus, M Dimyan, M Harris-Love, M Perez, P Ragert, JC Rothwell, LG Cohen
    Journal of Physiology2008 Jan 15; 586(2):325-51 (*joint 1st author)
  • Further evidence for NMDA-dependence of the after-effects of human theta burst stimulation
  • JTTeo, OBC Swayne, JC Rothwell
    Clinical Neurophysiology 2007 Jul; 118(7):1649-51
  • The relationship between brain activity and peak grip force is modulated by corticospinal system integrity after subcortical stroke
    NS Ward, JM Newton, OBC Swayne, L Lee, AJ Thompson, RJ Greenwood, JC Rothwell, RSJ Frackowiak
    European Journal of Neuroscience 2007 Mar;25(6):1865-73
  • Transcallosal sensorimotor integration – effects of sensory input on cortical projections to the contralateral hand
    OBC Swayne, JC Rothwell, K Rosenkranz
    Clinical Neurophysiology 2006 Apr; 117(4):855-63
  • Motor system activation after subcortical stroke depends on corticospinal tract integrity
    NS Ward, Newton JM , OBC Swayne, Lee L, AJ Thompson, RJ Greenwood, Rothwell J, RSJ Frackowiak
    Brain 2006 Mar;129(Pt 3):809-19
  • GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors in non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome (letter)
    Creagh-Brown BC, Lim B, Rogers C, Swayne OBC, Hibbert M, Wainwright D
    British Journal of Cardiology 2003; 10: AIC 42
  • The Hitch Stitch: an Obsolete Neurosurgical Technique?
    OBC Swayne, B Horner and NL Dorward
    British Journal of Neurosurgery, 2002; 16(6): 541-544