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NEWS AND MEDIA

Twins hold the key to protecting ourselves against mental illness

Researchers at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) are studying hundreds of twins to identify whether resilience against mental health disorders is primarily determined by our genes or our environment. The study of 260 identical and nonidentical twins involves comparing and contrasting their mental wellbeing and brain structure and function over a 10-year period. “No one knows whether people have certain genes that make them intrinsically more resilient to mental illness over time, or whether it is someone’s life experiences that helps protect them from disorders such as depression or anxiety disorder,” said NeuRA Senior Research Scientist and UNSW Senior Research Fellow,…

Australians colour their hair to support mental health research

Thousands of people across Australia are colouring their hair during Mental Health Week (7-13 October) to raise funds and awareness for mental health research. Funds generated through the campaign Colour Your Hair for Mental Health will boost research into illnesses such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar. Nearly fifty per cent of Australians will experience mental illness during their lifetime.  Research helps identify preventative activities, improves treatments, and even leads to cures. “Additional research is essential if we want to be more effective in reducing the impact of mental illness in Australia,” said Professor Peter Schofield AO, CEO at NeuRA….

New GP guidelines could significantly reduce dementia rates in Australia

New guidelines have been issued for Australian GPs that could help reduce dementia rates nationally. The Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention has found that around 15 per cent of dementia cases globally could be prevented by making straightforward GP-recommended changes, such as reducing blood pressure or increasing physical activity. More than 500,000 people in Australia have dementia and there are around 110,000 new diagnoses each year. “Many Australians don’t realise they can effectively reduce their risk of developing dementia.  These guidelines will equip GPs with evidence-based guidance on modifiable risk factors in mid and late life,” said Professor Kaarin Anstey,…

National report: hospital treatment for hip fractures is improving but operating theatre delays remain

Australia’s largest annual hip fracture report shows significant national improvement in hospital pain management and early rehabilitation for people being treated for a broken hip. The 2019 report from The Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry (ANZHFR) at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) provides information on all 96 public hospitals operating on hip fracture patients in Australia. It shows 87% of patients in Australia receive a nerve block injection to help manage pain after a hip fracture, up from 59% when annual reporting began in 2015. Hospitals have also improved early rehabilitation activities, with 91% of patients now being offered…

Australian research shows air pollution associated with higher risk of dementia globally

Australian researchers have conducted the first global study to find a clear link between air pollution and an increased risk of getting dementia later in life. The study printed today in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease by Dr Ruth Peters at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), brings together research on people living in regions of Canada, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom and the United States. The research shows that rates of dementia were more likely when people were exposed over a long period of time to two types of air pollutants; particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) and nitrous oxides (NOx). Particulate matter 2.5…

New Australian invention can predict falls among older people with 75% accuracy

Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and Mark Moran Group (MMG) have partnered to help older Australians benefit from the latest breakthroughs in medical research. This exciting new alliance between NeuRA and MMG provides unique opportunities to deliver ground-breaking health and wellness innovations to help older Australians live better and healthier for longer. The first stage of the partnership includes the development and rollout of a new app-based wellbeing assessment tool, which features more than 30 years of NeuRA’s research involving about 20,000 participants aimed at maximising the physical and psychological wellbeing of older people. The FallScreen+ app tests people aged over…