Prosthetics

EXTRA INFORMATION

Restoring balance function

WHAT WE KNOW

Our Research

Non-Invasive Interfacing of Touch Sensors to Restore Tactile Sensation in Amputees

The dexterity of the human hand in object manipulation is unparalleled in the natural world. This dexterity is facilitated by an array of receptors embedded within the skin of each fingertip that provide information about the tactile world and informs the motor-control system. The loss of a hand or arm is a devastating event, and the aim of our new project is to develop a non-invasive prosthetic system that can provide sensory feedback in amputees to help guide movement of a prosthetic hand.

A new mouse model that determines the effects of a unilateral vestibular prosthesis on vestibular plasticity.

Much like a cochlear implant restores auditory function, a vestibular prosthesis restores balance function. It is not clear whether the limited results from vestibular prostheses is due the device not stimulating one component (the otoliths) of the vestibular system essential for self-repair. We will test mutant mice that lack otoliths to determine the importance of stimulating the otoliths in restoring function. This work will shape the future direction of prosthesis development.

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FEEL THE BUZZ IN THE AIR? US TOO.

'I've got the best job for you dad. Your shaky arm will be perfect for it!'

Children… honest and insightful. Their innocence warms the heart. But what words do you use to explain to a child that daddy has an incurable brain disease? What words tell them that in time he may not be able to play football in the park, let alone feed himself? What words help them understand that in the later stages, dementia may also strike? Aged just 36, this was the reality that faced Steve Hartley. Parkinson's disease didn't care he was a fit, healthy, a young dad and devoted husband. It also didn't seem to care his family had no history of it. The key to defeating Parkinson's disease is early intervention, and thanks to a global research team, led by NeuRA, we're pleased to announce that early intervention may be possible. Your support, alongside national and international foundations Shake it Up Australia and the Michael J Fox Foundation, researchers have discovered that a special protein, found in people with a family history of the disease increases prior to Parkinson’s symptoms developing. This is an incredible step forward, because it means that drug therapies, aimed at blocking the increase in the protein, can be administered much earlier – even before symptoms strike. The next step is to understand when to give the drug therapies and which people will most benefit from it. But we need your help. A gift today will support vital research and in time help medical professionals around the world treat Parkinson’s disease sooner, with much better health outcomes. Thank you, in advance, for your support.  
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