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Researcher News

Privatising Aged Care Assessment Teams – Prof Tony Broe

The Federal Government, which has long funded Australia-wide Aged Care Assessment Teams, commonly and often affectionately known as ACATs, has made a ‘surprise’ decision that it will privatise them from April 2021, with a tender to be held this year (30 December 2019). This unexpected, and to many aged care workers irrational decision, has been received with deep concern and dismay by the numerous ACAT staff who have provided the backbone of experienced aged care assessment and family support over the past 30 years. State employed teams of nurses, geriatricians, social workers and allied health workers have taken years to…

New guidelines could significantly reduce dementia rates

Dementia is now the leading cause of death for Australian women and is highly prevalent at older ages, with approximately 30 per cent of adults aged over 85 being diagnosed with the condition and a total of 6-8 per cent of adults over the age of 65. Currently there are no effective treatments or cures for the diseases that cause neurodegenerative changes leading to dementia syndromes. In late-life it is recognised that most dementias are ‘mixed’. This means that vascular and Alzheimer’s pathology are likely to be present and possibly other causes of neurodegeneration. Risk reduction has been recognised by…

Unite with NeuRA for Sixth-Annual Colour the World Orange™ for CRPS/RSD Awareness

CRPS is a devastating chronic pain condition, characterised by “unbearable” and “terrifying” burning or stinging pain from which there is no relief. It usually affects the arms, legs, hands or feet, often occurring after an injury such as fracture or sprain.  Approximately 75% of patients report suicidal thoughts, plans or actions. Due to a lack of high-quality trials to guide management of CRPS, there is no single recommended treatment. This can result in patients being driven to seek dangerous and ineffective treatments, such as ketamine-induced coma or amputation, which can lead to substantial harms including death. To help address this…

Childhood abuse and inflammation in schizophrenia: implications for new treatments?

Researchers have discovered that people with schizophrenia who have been abused in childhood have high levels of inflammation as adults. This finding will help with the development of new and personalised treatments for schizophrenia patients. A new study at Neuroscience Research Australia and at the UNSW School of Psychiatry, led by Doctor Yann Quidé, has found that levels of inflammation in adults with schizophrenia were associated with the severity of sexual abuse they experienced in childhood. This indicates that adverse experiences from childhood may have severe biological consequences later in life. “Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders are extremely diverse, meaning no…

Randwick researchers are colouring their hair to raise funds for mental health

Written by Professor Peter Schofield AO, CEO of Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA).  October marks Mental Health Month, a milestone event for Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and for all the Australians involved in the Colour Your Hair for Mental Health campaign. If you’ve spotted a bright hairdo in the street, you may well have passed one of the 2,800 people who have committed to colouring their hair to raise funds for mental health research. Together they are close to reaching $65,000. I’m incredibly grateful for the effort our supporters have put in, and rather impressed by the creative direction of some…

IRNDP Conference at NeuRA 2019

On the 14th and 15th of October, NeuRA hosted the International Research Network on Dementia Prevention (IRNDP) Inaugural Global Research Forum on dementia prevention. This is the first conference in Australia, and only the second in the world, to focus specifically on dementia prevention. The conference featured speakers from the United States, Canada, Sweden, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia and 140 registered delegates from Denmark, Canada, United States, Sweden, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Thailand and Australia. Scientia Professor Kaarin Anstey, Director of the UNSW Aging Futures Institute and Senior Principal Research Scientist NeuRA, is the Chair of the IRNDP leadership committee. “The International…