Unlocking the Reasons For Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a significant problem worldwide and locally, impacting one in three Australians. It results in enormous suffering and costs to the individual, as well as their loved ones and society in general. Despite the availability of pain medications and other pain therapies, there is still no ideal treatment which benefits the majority of sufferers, and most of the available therapies have significant side effects or risks of serious adverse events. […]

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Developing and Testing New Treatments For Low Back Pain

Pain provides a warning of threat to body tissue. This protective mechanism is critical for survival as it motivates defensive actions to remove the source of the threat. Unfortunately for many people, pain can become ‘stuck’, persisting long past the time when it has served any useful purpose of warning of harm. These people have chronic pain, a disabling and highly distressing condition. Dr James McAuley’s research is focused on low […]

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Sydney Brain Bank World Class Facility

By: Dr Claire Shepherd The Sydney Brain Bank at NeuRA aims to facilitate world class research and break throughs in ageing and neurodegenerative disorders. Globally it supplies tissue to 30-40 research projects a year, with many of these projects a collaborative effort between external research institutions. Lead by Dr Claire Shepherd, recently appointed to the position of Director of the Sydney Brain Bank, the team has developed a […]

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NeuRA leads research effort on Alzheimer’s disease in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth

NeuRA is coordinating the Sydney site for the DIAN (Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network). This study sets out to look for biological changes that occur in people before they develop the Alzheimer’s symptoms such as memory loss.  Over the last two years, NeuRA has been working on a clinical trial program aimed at preventing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s by removing amyloid […]

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Clinical trials at the Balance and Vision lab

The Balance and Vision lab at NeuRA is leading the way forward in clinical research that aims to help people with dizziness disorders. The team is led by Associate Prof Americo Migliaccio, and comprises senior researchers, PhD students, biomedical engineers, and clinicians. The most exciting project currently underway is the clinical trial of a novel vestibular rehabilitation device aimed at […]

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Understanding Body Ownership and Agency

Typically we pay little attention to the sense that our limbs are a part of our body and that we have control over them. These mind-body connections are essential for moving and interacting with our surrounds. We first learn self-awareness and to distinguish self from other when we make exploratory movements as infants. The sense of self continues to stabilise […]

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Using DTI to understand muscle contracture in children with Cerebral Palsy

A new study by Prof Rob Herbert and his team is investigating muscle contracture in children with cerebral palsy. Contracture is a stiffening of muscles, even when the muscle is passive. It is not yet known whether contracture is a result of changes in the muscle, changes in the associated tendon, or a combination of both. Around 53 per cent […]

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Remapping the body

A stroke patient struggles to open a door. An amputee is frustrated at the erratic movements of his new prosthetic limb. And a healthy young individual is disappointed with how her body looks in the mirror. These troubles can stem from disruptions to the brain’s maps of the body; a problem observed in a whole host of other conditions. We currently […]

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Is there a link between early life trauma and mental illness?

Epigenetics is the study of how our environment influences the expression of our genes. My group has found a link between early life experiences and attention. Exposure to traumatic experiences in the early stages of life, including abuse or neglect, parental divorce or mental illness, and poverty, are known to influence the development of some mental illnesses. These early experiences also […]

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Eating behaviours and FTD

Understanding what causes the changes in eating behaviours in people with frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis could potentially improve disease prognoses and progression. Metabolic changes including fluctuations in weight, insulin resistance, and cholesterol levels have been identified in both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). I am exploring whether these metabolic changes are related and how they might […]

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