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.

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? https://youtu.be/q7fTZIisgAY
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