NeuRA Magazine #22

LEAVING A LEGACY OF DISCOVERY

Keith and Lucille had never considered how medical research could benefit from the donation of a brain until their world came crashing down. After noticing changes
in her husband, it was revealed that Keith was living with frontotemporal dementia. About one year later, he was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. They desperately wanted to help future generations, and decided together that the best way to do that was through brain donation. They knew their precious gift would not only be of tremendous value to researchers now, but that it would create a legacy of discovery for years to come. After Keith’s passing and subsequent donation, an examination of his brain revealed that he was in fact not living with Parkinson’s disease, but had lived with both frontotemporal dementia and the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. These types of findings are crucial in helping researchers and clinicians better diagnose and treat a wide range of brain diseases and is an key part of the reason why Lucille and Keith thought it important to bequest their brains to science at the Sydney Brain Bank.

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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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