NeuRA Magazine #21

YOUNG RESEARCHER AT WORK

Dr Anna Hudson, Senior Postdoctoral Fellow at NeuRA, has been awarded the Lung Foundation Australia/Boehringer Ingelheim Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Research Fellowship. One in seven Australians over forty is affected by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a progressive disease which makes it hard to breathe and causes shortness of breath, progressing in its severity over time. People living with this disease usually experience coughing which produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms.

 

Commenting on her fellowship award Anna said, “my research work over the next two years will focus on looking at the way respiratory muscles are controlled in people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease”.

 

“For most of us we rarely think about breathing – it is an automatic process, but for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, they are often short of breath.”

 

“I am going to use my knowledge in the techniques to measure muscle and brain activity to detect impairments in the neural control of breathing in these people”, said Dr Hudson.

 

This is a disease which affects the quality of life and the everyday living of people affected by it. By looking at how the neural control of their breathing muscles is affected, Dr Hudson hopes to identify new targets, therapies and techniques to support and improve the lives of people living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

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FEEL THE BUZZ IN THE AIR? US TOO.

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.
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