NeuRA Magazine #23

THE MOST COSTLY FALL-RELATED INJURY SUFFERED BY OLDER AUSTRALIANS

The Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry based at NeuRA, released its 2017 report highlighting hip fracture as the most serious and costly fall-related injury suffered by older Australians. In 2016, there were approximately 22,000 hip fractures in Australia with an estimated combined direct and indirect cost of $908 million.

Commenting on the seriousness of these statistics, Prof Jaqueline Close, Geriatrician and Co-Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry said “the number is set to rise to more than 30,000 by 2022, with a projected cost of $1.126 billion”.

“Most importantly, the human cost from this injury is high: 5% will die in hospital; over 10% will be newly discharged to an aged care facility; more than 50% will still experience a mobility-related disability 12 months after injury; and up to 25% will have died in the year after discharge from hospital.” The report highlighted the performance against national clinical care standards which have the potential to alter the outcome for some of the frailest members of our society.

Commenting on the findings, Prof Ian Harris, orthopaedic surgeon and Co-Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry said, “This report continues to show variation in the way we deliver care to people with a hip fracture. Some of this variation between hospitals can markedly change the experience for the older person including how we manage their pain, timing of the surgery and the opportunity to start walking again after surgery”.

Further commenting, Prof Close said, “there remain huge opportunities to further improve care including the prevention of future falls and fractures. Strong evidence exists to support treatment of osteoporosis in this population yet there remains a care gap between what we are and should be doing.”

This care gap leaves hip fracture survivors with an increased risk of subsequent falls and fractures that are associated with loss of independence or ultimately increased risk of death.

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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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