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NEWS AND MEDIA

Researchers call for more culturally appropriate health and aged care services for older Aboriginal Australians

A new study has found that the majority of older Aboriginal Australians are avoiding mainstream health and aged care services, as they feel safer using services that are governed and delivered by Aboriginal communities. Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) are run by Aboriginal people and are based in local Aboriginal communities. This research by Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) has found 64 per cent of Aboriginal Australians aged over 60 only access health and aged care from ACCOs. ACCOs incorporate cultural care by meeting the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of the patient, which is integral to the health and wellbeing of…

Older Aussies turn to video games to improve balance and brain function

A new exercise program based on arcade-style dance games is being trialled in aged care homes this month, to help improve the balance of older people and reduce their risk of falling by up to 50 per cent. Falls and dementia are among the biggest health threats to older Australians, particularly for those living in residential aged care homes. The COVID pandemic has heightened these risks for anyone who has spent extended periods in isolation, or where homes are under pressure to provide daily exercise programs safely. The program, smart±step, has been designed by Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), and is…

Scientists find design of motorcycles linked to risk of pelvic injuries

A world-first study has found the design of fuel tanks and the sitting position of riders is likely leading to one of the most common forms of injury among motorcyclists. Researchers at the Transurban Road Safety Centre at NeuRA simulated a variety of fuel tank designs and sitting positions. They found that fuel tanks with a lower angle or more gradual rise from the front of the seat to the handlebars were safer and less likely to cause a pelvic injury to the rider during an accident. About 15 per cent of injuries involving motorcyclists are pelvic injuries. They typically…

Researchers recommend used child safety seats are thoroughly inspected

Researchers have found that despite heavy use, sun exposure, and general wear and tear, older child safety seats still perform well in simulated frontal crashes. The findings by NeuRA researchers at the Transurban Road Safety Centre show that older restraints will protect a child occupant in a crash, providing they have not already been in a serious road accident. The researchers found that some restraints were damaged during the testing in a way that would impair their performance in any subsequent crashes. “In our laboratory crash testing, we found that these seats were effective in protecting child passengers from head…

Researchers open the door to new schizophrenia treatment

Newly published research has identified the biological changes that cause the negative symptoms and psychosis that people with schizophrenia experience. This discovery has significant implications for schizophrenia treatments, which to date have not been able to target these debilitating side effects. Current schizophrenia treatments only address psychotic symptoms some of the time, and do not restore people to their full potential. As a result, approximately 80 per cent of people with schizophrenia are left unemployed and many alone. But the newly published study by Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) may help to change this as it uncovers precisely where problematic biological changes…

Pain research using virtual reality receives $A5 million from the US Department of Defence

Research that is being co-led by NeuRA and UNSW Sydney has been awarded $A5 million for a project that will use virtual reality to ease nerve-related pain following spinal cord injury. Granted by the US Department of Defence, the funding will enable researchers to assess whether a novel virtual reality walking intervention can effectively reduce spinal cord injury neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain affects approximately 60 per cent of people with spinal cord injury and is described as burning, sharp and unremitting. In addition to being unbearable, neuropathic pain rarely responds to medication or alternative treatments. Patients that do choose drugs…