Child Development and Off-road Riding - A Pilot Study

RESEARCH STUDY

Are you or your child aged 6, 8 or 13 years old?

Would you or your child be willing to take part in a study to help us understand what skills are needed for children to ride motorcycles safely?

No experience with motorcycles is needed and children will not be required to ride a motorcycle in this study.

What is the Child Development & Off-road Riding – A Pilot Study about?

The Child Development & Off-road Riding Study is looking at what skills are needed to ride a motorbike or dirt bike safely. This might include things like strength and balance, thinking quickly, decision making, judging distances and judging speeds. We would like to know which skills are important to which parts of riding, e.g. in cornering or braking or negotiating obstacles.

We have developed some new methods to assess these skills but we need to check that these methods work and provide information that is relevant to how children ride motorcycles.

How do I take part or register my interest in being involved?

For further information or to participate in this study please contact Catherine Ho c.ho@neura.edu.au

For more information click here

See what’s going on at NeuRA

FEEL THE BUZZ IN THE AIR? US TOO.

Spinal Cord Injury Breakthrough

Researchers from NeuRA, the University of New South Wales
the University of Sydney,
and HammondCare have found surviving sensory spinal nerve connections in 50 per cent of people living with complete thoracic spinal cord injuries. The study, which is part of
a decade-long collaboration between the researchers, used cutting-edge functional MRI (fMRI) technology to record neural response to touch. It was  Dr Sylvia Gustin who analysed the fMRI images to identify the moment the patient’s brain registered the touch. “Seeing the brain light up to touch shows that despite the complete injury to the thoracic spine, somatosensory pathways have been preserved,” explains Dr Gustin. “It’s fascinating that although the patients did not ‘feel’ the big toe stimulation in the experiment, we were able to detect a significant signal in response to the touch in the brain’s primary and secondary somatosensory cortices, the thalamus, and the cerebellum.” For those living with a complete spinal cord injury this means, despite previously believing
the communication to the brain had been severed in the injury, messages are still being received. Dr Gustin describes this new category of spinal cord injury as ‘discomplete’ “The current classification system is flawed. It only contains two types of spinal cord injury – complete and incomplete,” says Dr Gustin. “It is important we acknowledge there is a third category – the ‘discomplete’ injury, only then we can provide better treatment regimens for the many sufferers of a complete spinal cord injury.” For those newly classified as ‘discomplete’, this discovery opens up new opportunities to identify those people living with a spinal cord injury that are more likely to benefit from treatments aimed at improving sensation and movement. Because of this study, research participant, James Stanley, now knows he belongs to a new category. “It is exciting to know that there
is a connection there, that my toe is trying to say hello to my brain,” says James. “If medical professionals can work to identify people like me with a ‘discomplete’ injury earlier, perhaps they can find new treatments and rehabilitation techniques. “The thought that one day I might be able to feel the sand between my toes again, or the waves wash over my feet gives me hope. It’s something Dr Gustin’s discovery has made possible.”  
PROJECT