Researcher News

Study Finds Epilepsy Rate 15 Times Higher in People With Alzheimer’s disease

Epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease are both common in older adults. They both impact the affected individuals, their loved ones, caregivers, and the community.  A recent study at NeuRA sought to understand the relationships between epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease at a population level. It was found that the rate that people develop epileptic seizures is 15 times higher in people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) than in the general older population. This systematic review by Dr Ying Xu and A/Prof Ruth Peters, was conducted in collaboration with fellow NeuRA researchers Dr Louise Lavrencic, Dr Kylie Radford and Prof Kaarin Anstey and national…

Large-Scale Genome Analysis Identifies Differences by Sex in Major Psychiatric Disorders

A large-scale study by several international research teams, including NeuRA, analysed potential differences between sexes in the genetics of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder. Results indicate that while there was substantial genetic overlap between the sexes, significant sex-dependent differences were still found for genes related to the immune system, central nervous system and vascular function across and within these major psychiatric disorders. This study was the largest genome-wide genotype-by-sex analysis of mood and psychotic disorders to date, analysing the genomes of 85,735 cases (people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder), with 109,946 controls. Though the specific mechanisms…

Research finds that how well the tongue moves forward during inspiration is not influenced by higher tongue fat content in a common sleep disorder

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common breathing disorder, characterised by recurrent partial or complete upper airway collapses during sleep, resulting in sleep disturbance. The disorder can cause daytime sleepiness, headaches and trouble with memory, and is linked to a variety of serious health conditions, such as heart disease. Of all the risk factors associated with OSA, obesity is a strong contender. It is thought that excessive gain weight leads to an increased tongue volume due to increased fat content that narrows the upper airway, which becomes more susceptible to collapse. However, while obesity predisposes to, and increases the severity…

Encouraging findings in Alzheimer’s prevention trial lead to the next phase

Families with the genetic form of early onset Alzheimer’s disease are rare, but contribute greatly to our understanding of the condition in the wider community. About thirty families are known in Australia, where several members have had Alzheimer’s disease over multiple generations. People with brothers, sisters and parents who have one of these rare genetic mutations have been participating in research at NeuRA for several decades.   About the DIAN Study In 2009, NeuRA was selected as a site in the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN), an international collaborative study led by Professor John Morris and Professor Randall Bateman at…

New research shows COVID-19 can negatively impact the brain and mental wellbeing

NeuRA’s Professor Kaarin Anstey is a member of Governance Committee of the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH), which has produced a new report that confirms COVID-19 can directly harm brain health. While we often hear about the respiratory complications caused by the coronavirus, the information contained in this report shows COVID-19 also poses a serious risk to our brain. According to the report, the virus can damage the brain both directly and indirectly. “It’s two pronged,” explains Professor Anstey. “Firstly, COVID-19 itself can harm the brain by causing inflammation, nerve damage and neurological symptoms such as delirium, extreme fatigue…

Self-management solutions to lower back pain

NeuRA researchers are embarking on a new study to help people recover from chronic low back pain. About 20 per cent of Australians currently experience back pain, with about one third developing chronic low back pain, where the pain extends beyond 12 weeks and sometimes lasts for years. This is a massive health burden on the nation, with Australians spending a staggering $8 billion to treat back pain each year. Australians commonly respond to this pain by seeking medical treatment. But NeuRA researchers and international experts say the most effective method of recovery is self-management, which is the focus of…