Category Archives: New research

Star-shaped cells: a clue to differences in schizophrenia pathology?

Dr Vibeke Sørensen Catts is a schizophrenia researcher. Her interests lie in exploring the biological factors that help brain cells grow and die, and how these pathways might be altered in schizophrenia. Here she describes her discovery that certain types of brain cells are inflamed in some people with schizophrenia. This recent finding opens new understanding of what goes wrong in […]

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What can our genes tell us about mental illness?

Bipolar disorder affects 350,000 Australians, and has been ranked in the top 20 most disabling disorders globally, making it even more disabling than depression. Dr Jan Fullerton‘s research aims to better understand how genes contribute to bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is characterised by oscillating periods of mania and depression. These changes in mood are sometimes accompanied by psychotic episodes and escalating impulsive and […]

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What about resilience and wellbeing? The flipside of mental illness

Dr Justine Gatt is an NHMRC Research Fellow who has recently joined the NeuRA team. Her research focuses on understanding the flipside of mental illness: why some people are more resilient to stress than others. It is hoped that these characteristics can be promoted in people who may be less resilient. In Australia, nearly half of the population experience a […]

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Contracture: understanding mechanisms and testing treatments

As part of a new National Health and Medical Research Council Program Grant on motor impairment, Prof Rob Herbert aims to advance the transfer of new understanding of physiology and pathophysiology in motor impairment toward the clinical outcome of improved motor function. Motor impairment is a common consequence of a number of illnesses and injuries. One type of motor impairment […]

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An international approach to tackling Parkinson’s disease

Dr Nic Dzamko and Prof Glenda Halliday have put together an international team dedicated to researching the causes of Parkinson’s disease. They will be the first in the world to use valuable early clinical samples to identify the genetic and molecular underpinnings of this brain illness. Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder with no current cure. 1 in every […]

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Cannabidiol – a glimmer of hope for Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, which affects around 330,000 Australians. In 2009 – 2010, the healthcare cost of dementia was over 4.9 billion dollars in Australia. Both of these figures are on the rise, given that our life expectancy is increasing. People living with Alzheimer’s disease experience a range of symptoms that include social withdrawal and […]

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Building blocks for a fresh understanding of schizophrenia

Dr Dipesh Joshi received this year’s Leslie Kiloh paper award for his work into the understanding of schizophrenia. Since then, he has published new work linking problematic neurons to a genetic abnormality associated with schizophrenia. He explains how his work has created a greater understanding of this disease. Genes are a precious gift that every generation passes on to the […]

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