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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See what’s going on at NeuRA


The cold case of schizophrenia - broken wide open!

‘It is like they were miraculously healed!’’ Schizophrenia is diagnosed by clinical observation of behaviour and speech. This is why NeuRA researchers are working hard to understand the biological basis of the illness. Through hours of work and in collaboration with doctors and scientists here and around the world, NeuRA has made an amazing breakthrough. For the first time, researchers have discovered the presence of antibodies in the brains of people who lived with schizophrenia. Having found these antibodies, it has led NeuRA researchers to ask two questions. What are they doing there? What should we do about the antibodies– help or remove them? This is a key breakthrough. Imagine if we are treating schizophrenia all wrong! It is early days, but can you imagine the treatment implications if we’ve identified a new biological basis for the disease? It could completely change the way schizophrenia is managed, creating new treatments that will protect the brain. More than this, could we be on the verge of discovering a ‘curable’ form of schizophrenia? How you can help We are so grateful for your loyal support of schizophrenia research in Australia, and today I ask if you will consider a gift today. Or, to provide greater confidence, consider becoming a Discovery Partner by making a monthly commitment. We believe there is great potential to explore these findings. Will you help move today’s breakthrough into tomorrow’s cure? To read more about this breakthrough, click ‘read the full story’ below. You are also invited to read ‘Beth’s story’, whose sweet son Marcus lived with schizophrenia, by clicking here.