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NEWS AND MEDIA

Researchers suggest a rethink of “banned” chest clips on child car restraints in Australia

Tuesday, 16 April: Research using child-sized crash test dummies has shown, for the first time, a potential safety benefit in using plastic chest clips on child car restraints, as they keep shoulder straps together, reducing the risk of serious injury in a crash. Despite chest clips being widely used in the United States, they do not meet Australian safety standards due to concerns they may cause neck injuries in a crash. However, researchers at the Transurban Road Safety Centre at NeuRA have found no sign of serious injury related to the chest clips when tested on Australian car restraints.  This…

Genetic risk for cardiovascular health is not necessarily linked to exceptional longevity

Studies of exceptionally long-lived individuals have shown that one of the key factors to exceptional longevity is better cardiovascular health.  In order to investigate this finding within Australia, researchers at the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) have compared the genetic risk profiles for cardiovascular traits and disease in exceptionally long-lived adults (aged 95 years and over) with younger controls.  Participants were drawn from CHeBA’s Sydney Centenarian Study and the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study and also from the Hunter Community Study. “Exceptional longevity, defined as exceeding the average life expectancy, is affected by a combination of genetic and environmental…

NeuRA research project in Coffs Harbour

Story supplied by Parkinson’s NSW Researchers from Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) visited Coffs Harbour in March to conduct a study into upper limb function in people living with Parkinson’s. The research study utilised the Physiological Profiling Assessment (PPA) and the data gathered will be used to produce simple tests that can be used in population studies and patient group clinics. This will provide normative data for documenting the type and severity of upper limb motor impairments and guide the future development of strategies to improve function in ageing and other disorders, including Parkinson’s. More than 30 people participated in the…

Inflammation linked to chemical imbalance in schizophrenia

A study published in Molecular Psychiatry has identified changes in inflammation-related biochemical pathways in schizophrenia that interfere with proper brain nerve cell communication. Researchers have found the first direct evidence in support of increased kynurenic acid production in the brain, which is known to block a key glutamate receptor. This discovery paves the way for the development of better-targeted therapies with fewer side effects for people with schizophrenia.  The study is a collaboration between Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), UNSW Sydney and Macquarie University. The study found elevated kynurenic acid in the brains of people with schizophrenia suggesting an overproduction of…

Research provides new insights into managing dementia symptoms

The conclusion of a twelve-month research project into the reduction of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) suggests the quality of life for dementia patients can be increased through non-pharmacological methods. The research program, titled BPSDPLUS, was developed Dr Moyra Mortby from NeuRA and UNSW Sydney, and run in collaboration with Goodwin Aged Care Services. Dr Mortby says that preliminary results indicate that a structured approach to personcentred-care and the use non-pharmacologic interventions to manage BPSD can help improve quality of life for residents, carers, and family members. ‘We’ve seen promising initial results in relation to the provision of…

$7M research funding to pilot new models of care for brain disorders in Australia

The 2019 Federal Budget has delivered a win for people living with brain disorders in Australia, with a $7million funding boost for research aimed at developing improved models of care. The clinical and research translation program, led by the Mindgardens Neuroscience Network (Mindgardens), will build new models of care to address the staggering burden of brain disorders in Australia. The disease burden associated with neurological, mental health and substance use disorders is in excess of $74 billion per annum and currently accounts for 20.5 per cent of disability-adjusted life years, nearly twice the global figure of 11.1 per cent illustrating…