Our progressive research offers new hope across all ages

The most important investment in our country, from both a social and economic perspective, is in the well-being of its citizens through health and medical research. Tackling the growing impact of mental illness is imperative, and given our ageing population, the neurodegenerative conditions mean that over 350,000 Australians are living with dementia. This requires a sustained and comprehensive commitment from government, industry and philanthropy to underpin research to conquer and cure these disorders.

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Section of the level 6 laboratories

A $10 million grant from NSW Health, to match Margarete Ainsworth’s generous donation, has been instrumental in funding the completion of the fit-out of the Margarete Ainsworth Building. Level 6 now houses laboratories and offices for the Sydney Brain Bank and our dementia and Parkinson’s research teams. New offices for our dementia clinical researchers are being constructed on Level 2 and the fit-out of basement levels will provide a state-of-the-art gait laboratory for falls and movement studies, a new crash laboratory for injury prevention research, and dedicated storage for up to 2500 samples from the Sydney Brain Bank.

To combat the impact of illness, researchers worldwide must develop medical innovations based on sound scientific evidence. Clinical trials are key to improving the treatment of a particular disease or validating biomarkers to improve diagnosis. NeuRA has a number of clinical trials in place.Our participation in the international Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN)prevention trial is groundbreaking because the identification of a successful drug has the potential to be effective in preventing Alzheimer’s disease in later life.

NeuRA’s merger with the Schizophrenia Research Institute has been a positive step for both organisations as we expedite translation of discoveries to benefit those living with schizophrenia. The Cognitive and Affective Symptoms in Schizophrenia Intervention (CASSI) trial verified that a drug that acts on estrogen hormone receptors in the brain reduces symptoms and improves cognition. Through the establishment of our Schizophrenia Research Council, we look forward to a stronger engagement with carers and consumers for input to enhance our research strategies.

In older age, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death and hospitalisation. NeuRA’s Standing Tall Study aims to improve balance and reduce fall risk via an exercise program delivered at home through an iPad.

NeuRA’s achievements are a direct result of the dedication of our talented team of researchers, but the financial support we receive from government and our donors is essential. We thank you sincerely.

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