You know the word…it’s right there…on the tip of your tongue…and…it’s gone again. Argh!
Struggling to think of a certain word is something everyone encounters. For a specific group of dementia patients, however, this is a daily battle and often involves words for common household objects previously well remembered (e.g kettle). Semantic dementia is a disease that attacks language in people in their 50s to 60s while other cognitive skills like attention and memory remain good. Continue reading
NeuRA Super Prof George Paxinos has become a corresponding member of the Academy of Athens. The presentation was made in the ceremonial hall of the Academy, next to the University of Athens. Prof Paxinos is the second living Australian to receive the distinction, the first being the former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Continue reading
Getting lost in shopping malls, leaving doors unlocked and difficulty remembering what you ate last night are situations that caregivers and patients with Alzheimer’s disease know well and have to deal with every day. Yet, what would you think, if instead of getting lost, someone had trouble finding the right word? Would you still call this Alzheimer’s disease? Continue reading
The NeuRA Magazine is one of the key methods we use to communicate our research progress and keep people informed about NeuRA.
You can subscribe to the NeuRA Magazine here…..but be quick because the summer issue is being printed and will be distributed soon! Continue reading
No two strokes are the same. How a person is affected by a stroke is dependent on a range of factors such as the type of stroke, the part of the brain damaged, and their health before the stroke.
Many stroke survivors have trouble manipulating and holding objects, and the way people hold and manipulate objects is something NeuRA’s Dr Ingvars Birznieks is an expert in. Dr Birznieks studies tactile receptors (features in our skin that respond to touch) in the fingers and the way the brain controls our hands. Continue reading
NeuRA’s Dr Sharpley Hsieh was invited to author an article for Australasian Science on her PhD work on dementia, musical cognition and emotional processing. Australasian Science were so happy with the article they made it their cover story for the November issue! Continue reading
This month we have sent out an appeal letter in which Chontell Johnson tells her story. Chontell’s mother had the genetic form of Alzheimer’s disease and Chontell made the decision to have predictive testing some years ago. She found out that she carries the form of the gene responsible for causing Alzheimer’s disease in her family. Other family members have developed symptoms between the mid-30s and the mid-50s, so this was a blow, to say the least. However, Chontell has set an example to us all in grasping the future with both hands and making every day count. She is a participant in the DIAN study (Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network) and her ever-cheerful involvement provides a great motivation to us all to get on with our research, which we hope will include trials of preventive drugs beginning next year. Continue reading
We are all aware of China’s surging economic growth but it may be surprising to some that China has also had a 64-fold increase in peer-reviewed scientific papers since 1981. Assuming China’s research presence continues along the same trajectory, it will become the largest producer of scientific knowledge by 2013 (in 2004-2008 China produced 10% of the world’s published scientific articles placing it in second place after the United States). Furthermore in its draft budget, China announced that it would put aside US$5.14 billion for basic research in 2012 – a 26% increase compared to the year before. Continue reading
Evolution is the gradual development of something into a more complex or better form. I witness this everyday as a paediatric neurologist: A newborn is vulnerable and fully dependent on its parents and during childhood movements become smooth and an infant learns to stand, walk and then run. Compared to development in other species, human children take a long time to grow up. Continue reading
Did you know that the brain contains its own set of chemicals that act like chemicals found in cannabis? You may have heard of endorphins (not to be confused with the Australian electronic musician), opiate-like chemicals made by our bodies that help us control pain and feel good after exercise. Well, the body also makes its own cannabis-like chemicals, called endocannabinoids, that help us with everyday functions such as memory and appetite. Continue reading