Spinal Cord Injury


Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) has been shown by researchers at NeuRA and Prince of Wales Hospital, to improve lung function by around 30% in people with a spinal cord injury. It may also reduce the risk of chest infections.


People who have engaged in inspiratory muscle training programs have reported:

“IMT improved my strength and awareness of maintaining good breathing habits” – Gerry

“After 6 weeks of IMT I had a reduced need for assisted coughs form my carer” – Will

“I felt less breathless when sitting upright and could sit for longer” – Rex

“IMT makes muscles for breathing stronger and I breathe better” – Julie

“Training with the device meant I could talk for longer periods” – Greg


Prince of Wales Hospital and NeuRA have collaborated to develop a COVID-safe protocol for IMT, which has been published by the Agency for Clinical Innovation. It is available here.


Prince of Wales Hospital has funded the development of two training videos to teach people with spinal cord injuries, their carers, therapists, and clinicians how to perform IMT safely and effectively in the community. ParaQuad NSW and Spinal Cord Injuries Australia are two other organisations improving the lives of those with a spinal cord injury by helping to distribute this information.


Our aim is to help people take up IMT to reduce the risk of them getting serious lung problems like pneumonia and respiratory failure.


To access the videos, click here:


See what’s going on at NeuRA


LEAD!- Leveraging Evidence into Action on Dementia

Currently, there is no effective treatment for dementia, highlighting the urgent need to preventing more cases through evidence-based strategies for risk reduction. As there is an overlap between the risk factors for dementia and other preventable non-communicable diseases including stroke, diabetes, and heart disease, it is important to build upon proven risk-reduction strategies. What is LEAD? LEAD! is a project funded by the NHMRC Boosting Dementia Research Grant led by Professor Kaarin Anstey. It involves an international collaboration between leading academics, clinicians, consumers, and community members. Organisations involved include the Department of Health, WHO, Dementia Australia, Alzheimer’s Disease International, Diabetes Australia, and Heart Foundation. The project aims to translate dementia research and implement evidence-based strategies for dementia risk reduction to individuals, communities, and healthcare centres. Three workstreams The project has three concurrent workstreams over five years: Development, Implementation, and Evaluation and adoption. The Development stream, led by Professor Kaarin Anstey and Associate Professor Peters, focuses on building a new tool for predicting dementia and other non-communicable diseases including stroke, diabetes or myocardial infarction. The tool will be available to the public, researchers and clinicians. It will save clinical assessment time, accurately predict multiple outcomes and will be more acceptable in comparison to using individual tools for each disease outcome. The Implementation stream led by Professor Nicola Lautenschalger’s team at the University of Melbourne, will develop strategies to support the implementation of dementia risk reduction evidence by engaging with consumers, clinicians, policy makers, and the public. The stream will develop strategies for incorporating the new risk assessment tool into various technological platforms (e.g., websites or apps). The Evaluation and adoption stream, led by Professor Anstey and in collaboration with Professor Louisa Jorm and Dr Heidi Welberry at UNSW, focuses on measuring trajectories of Australian’s national risk factor profiles for multiple chronic diseases. Collaboration with key stakeholders including the WHO will help build an evaluation framework and methodology for implementing evidence on dementia risk reduction based on WHO guidelines at national level and in the global context.