Category Archives: New research

Reflex connection

Knowledge gained overseas enabled the establishment of one of the few laboratories in the world investigating methods to restore balance reflex function. Assoc Prof Americo Migliaccio co-founded a laboratory at Johns Hopkins University in the USA and was part of the fast-track academic program. On returning to Australia, NeuRA offered an excellent opportunity to continue this research. He now applies […]

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Understanding resilience with ‘illness genes’

Dr Justine Gatt is an NHMRC CDF Research Fellow at NeuRA. Here she shares an interesting idea: if there are ‘risky’ variants of genes that cause mental illness, could the opposite versions of these genes protect against mental illness? In other words, are risk and resilience two sides of the same coin? And where does our environment fit in the […]

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Lipid pathways in multiple system atrophy

Dr Scott Kim is a NeuRA researcher investigating the molecular biology of multiple system atrophy. Here he describes the effects of this rare but fatal neurodegenerative disease on the body and some of the new thinking about what causes it. Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a degenerative brain disorder that impairs the body’s involuntary functions, like blood pressure, heart rate, and bladder […]

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Alzheimer’s disease prevention trial gets underway at NeuRA

Dr Bill Brooks has been studying families with inherited forms of Alzheimer’s disease and similar conditions including familial frontotemporal dementia for over 25 years. He is currently working on the international DIAN study (Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network). Friday, November 7, 2014 was an important day. That day, Amanda Ayliffe, our first participant, received her first dose in the DIAN-TU-001 study, […]

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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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