Dr Claire Shepherd in the Sydney Brain Bank labs

Sydney Brain Bank

FACILITY INFORMATION

ABOUT US

What is the Sydney Brain Bank?

The Sydney Brain Bank was established in 2009 and is located at NeuRA, one of Australia’s leading institutes in brain research.

Funded by NeuRA, the Sydney Brain Bank currently holds more than 700 brains.

Researchers conduct studies on these brains to gain a greater understanding of neurodegenerative conditions, which helps create better treatments.

The Sydney Brain Bank currently works with 10 brain donor programs.  These focus on conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron disease, Huntington’s disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration and neurologically unaffected individuals.

On November 27, the National Rugby League (NRL) announced its support of the most recent donor program to the Sydney Brain Bank.  This research at NeuRA is looking into the prevalence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and impact of sports-related brain injuries.

 

How does the brain bank work?

Brain donors have detailed health assessments before their death in order to examine how neurodegenerative changes may or may not be impacting on their quality of life.

After death, a donor’s brain is divided into two halves, one side is frozen and the other is preserved in formalin.  This enables researchers to examine both cellular biochemical changes as well as any irregularities within the structure of the brain.

 

Why is this research so important?

Brain tissue from the Sydney Brain Bank is not only used by researchers at NeuRA, but by many researchers across Australia and throughout the world.  It is a vital resource for global research, with Sydney Brain Bank tissue facilitating over 300 studies since 2009.

Research into neurodegenerative diseases is impossible without the support of brain banks.  Only through post-mortem research can we identify the cellular changes occurring in the brains of those with neurological disorders.  Improved knowledge about diseases such as dementia or CTE could lead a better understanding of how they could be prevented.

 

How is the Sydney Brain Bank funded?

The Sydney Brain Bank is supported by NeuRA through philanthropic donations made to the NeuRA Foundation, and successfully awarded philanthropic and competitive grant funds.

 

How can you join a donor program?

Want to learn more about the Sydney Brain Bank and brain donation? Then please head to our Frequently Asked Questions page

 

The Sydney Brain Bank is based at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) which is located next to the Prince of Wales Hospital on Barker St in Randwick NSW.

Find us on Google maps
Download a Randwick Hospitals campus map (PDF)

   

 

SYDNEY BRAIN BANK TEAM

See what’s going on at NeuRA

FEEL THE BUZZ IN THE AIR? US TOO.

ReacStep – novel balance training programs to prevent falls in older adults

The ReacStep study is investigating the short-term effects of two balance training programs (i.e. reactive balance training and conventional balance training) on balance recovery from slips and trips in older adults. These programs are designed from evidence-based research and offer a challenging and unique experience to improving balance. The ReacStep team are calling on volunteers who: are aged 65 and over living independently in the Sydney metropolitan community can walk 500m comfortably with mobility aids or rest have not been advised by a medical practitioner not to exercise have no neurological conditions (e.g. Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, dementia, etc.) have no history or lower limb, pelvic or vertebral fracture(s) and/or lower limb joint replacement(s) in the past 6 months have no other existing conditions that may prevent them from exercising (e.g. injury, pain, fatigue, etc.) Eligible volunteers will be subjected to a health and safety screening before they are enrolled and randomly allocated into one of the two groups. Both groups will undertake a 3-week training program with an exercise physiologist, at NeuRA (i.e. in Randwick) as well as a balance recovery assessment at the 4-week time point. Reactive balance training involves intentionally stepping on a sliding tile, stepping over obstacles, trigger-release recovery as well as strength training. Participants will be wearing a full-body safety harness to ensure safety. Conventional balance training involves keeping balance in varying foot positions (i.e. feet together, in tandem or on one leg) whilst performing secondary tasks such as throwing a ball, card sorting, solving a maze or playing computer games. For more detailed information, read the Participant Information Statement and watch the video below. To get involved or to register your interest, click HERE. For all other queries, please contact the ReacStep Team on 02 9399 1002 or reactstep-study@neura.edu.au. HC210350 https://youtu.be/55q5pK0kjqY
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