NeuRA Magazine #21


NeuRA has officially launched a new virtual library on mental health called the NeuRA Discovery Portal. Developed to support the community, practitioners, people living with brain-related disorders, and their families, the new online library opens-up a world of fresh knowledge.

The first virtual library launched is the Schizophrenia Library, with further content planned for Bipolar Disorder and Dementia over the coming years.

Developed by NeuRA scientist Dr Sandy Matheson, with a creative framework in conjunction with Prof Vaughan Carr (Research Unit for Schizophrenia Epidemiology, UNSW and NeuRA), the new online library found at offers thousands of pages of information. It contains more than 2,000 downloadable fact sheets and technical evidence reports, some up to 50 pages in length. The Library also includes videos, podcasts, and interviews with leading scientific researchers in the mental health sector.

Commenting on the launch, Dr Sandy Matheson said due to the increasing volume of worldwide research into mental health and brain disorders, there is a need to collect, collate, and synthesise these research findings in a free, online database.

“The virtual Schizophrenia Library allows the public, consumers, carers, researchers, clinicians and policy developers to better understand, investigate and manage these disorders,”

“It is a major step forward in NeuRA’s investment in helping all people discover more about brain-related disorders.” said Dr Matheson.

The ‘new look’ Schizophrenia Library provides reliable and up to date information from systematic reviews on around 460 topics, all relating to schizophrenia.

There are two levels of information on each topic. The first is a brief Factsheet that provides general information describing the area examined and the evidence that is available. It’s relevant for the everyday person on the street.

The second is a Technical Commentary that provides more detail on each topic’s background, methods and results. Printable PDFs of factsheets and technical tables are available to download from each topic page.

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During three decades on Australian television, two simple words brought us to attention.

‘Hello daaaahling’. Outrageous, flamboyant, iconic – Jeanne Little captivated Australians everywhere with her unique style, cockatoo shrill voice and fashion sense. "Mum wasn't just the life of the party, she was the party.” Katie Little, Jeanne’s daughter remembers. This icon of Australian television brought a smile into Australian homes. Tragically, today Jeanne can't walk, talk or feed herself. She doesn't recognise anyone, with a random sound or laugh the only glimpse of who she truly is. Jeanne Little has Alzheimer's disease. The 1,000 Brains Study NeuRA is very excited to announce the 1,000 Brains Study, a ground-breaking research project to identify the elements in our brains that cause life-changing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other dementias. This study will focus on the key unresolved question: why do some of us develop devastating neurodegenerative diseases, while others retain good brain health? The study will compare the genomes of people who have reached old age with healthy brains against the genomes of those who have died from neurodegenerative diseases, with post mortem examination of brain tissue taking place at NeuRA’s Sydney Brain Bank. More information on the study can be found here. Will you please support dementia research and the 1,000 Brains Study and help drive the future of genetics research in Australia?