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World-leading falls researchers and clinicians call for urgent Government action on the $2.3bn health problem no one talks about

A new report launched today by the Australian and New Zealand Falls Prevention Society (ANZFPS) proposes a plan for urgent and coordinated action that could reduce falls by 30% and turn the tide on a $2.3 billion healthcare burden. Key points: Falls and fall injuries among older people are a large and growing problem in Australia. Every day 14 Australians aged 65+ will die from a fall and 364 will have a fall that puts them in hospital. Treatment of injuries from falls in older people cost over $2.3 billion in 2020, with multiple flow-on effects for ambulance services, loss…

NSW Health funding to support new discoveries in neuroinflammation and the neurobiology of schizophrenia

Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) researchers have been awarded more than $3 million in funding under the NSW Government’s Schizophrenia Research Grants Program. Professor Cyndi Shannon Weickert and Dr Tertia Purves-Tyson are the lead investigators on two of the three grants awarded by the NSW Health program to support innovative translational science and preclinical research to improve understanding and treatment of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia affects one in 100 Australians and roughly 20 million people worldwide. For 70-80 per cent of people with schizophrenia, it is a chronic, lifelong condition. Current treatments for schizophrenia are focused only on alleviating psychosis – just one…

ANZHFR report highlights need for cognitive assessments in hip fracture care

The latest Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry Report shows signs of improvement in hip fracture care, but COVID continues to have an impact. 82% of patients had surgery within 48 hours, up from 81% in 2020 70% of patients had a preoperative assessment of cognition, up from 67% in 2020 92% of patients had a nerve block to manage pain before surgery, up from 79% in 2020 75% of patients in Australia were assessed for delirium, with 39% of those assessed identified as experiencing delirium 65% of patients in New Zealand were assessed for delirium, with 46% of…

New algorithm that measures quality of gait through smart watches could help reduce falls and fall-related injuries in elderly populations, study shows

A new algorithm written by researchers from Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and UNSW Sydney could help promote health in older people and at-risk populations. By pairing with a wearable tech device such as a smart watch, the Watch Walk algorithm provides an accurate measurement of walking steadiness and speed and may be used in future to provide real-time feedback on how to improve individual walking stability to reduce the risk of falls. Falls are one of the most significant health and economic issues in Australia, with around 30 per cent of adults over 65[1] experiencing at least one fall per year….

A time of transformational change at Neuroscience Research Australia

This year is a time of transformational change at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), driven by the evolving impact of brain disorders on the health needs of our community and the changing operating environment for research and research funding. NeuRA’s new organisational strategy will see a much sharper focus on neurodegeneration, mental health and ageing well; an emphasis on clinical outcomes; and a search for partnerships which can enable greater scale and impact. After over 18 years of exemplary service to NeuRA, Professor Peter R Schofield AO will be stepping down from his role as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director,…

An effective new treatment for chronic back pain targets the nervous system

A treatment that trains both the brain and the body has shown important effects on pain and disability, a new study has found. People challenged with chronic back pain have been given hope with a new treatment that focuses on retraining how the back and the brain communicate, a randomised controlled trial run by researchers at UNSW Sydney and Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and several other Australian and European universities has shown. The study, funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), was described today in a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association….