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 is used 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.

Own Your Balance

Research investigating the impacts of cognitive behavioural therapy and balance programs on fear of falling, funded by Mindgardens. Falls and fear of falling affect many older people and can impose limitations upon daily activities. Over one third of community dwelling older people fall each year with about 15% of falls being injurious. However, two thirds of older people express a fear of falling during common daily activities, making it more common than falls itself. Fear of falling has been associated with needless restriction in physical and social activities, and subsequent deterioration of health and wellbeing. Previous research has suggested that fear of falling can be reduced through cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and balance exercise programs. However, these face-to-face treatments are resource intensive and not readily accessible to people. Furthermore, the effects of these treatments on fear of falling are small and often do not last beyond the duration of the program. By utilising technology and providing tailored physical activity guidance we are aiming to reduce a fear of falling in an accessible, efficient and lasting way. A thee-arm randomised clinical trial will be conducted in 189 community-dwelling older adults with a substantial concern of falling. Participants will be randomly allocated into one of three groups in order to test whether a self-managed CBT intervention, alone or in combination with a graded balance activity program, can reduce concerns about falling in older adults when compared to usual care. We are collaborating with the Black Dog institute to provide a home-based cognitive behavioural therapy program that addresses a fear of falling. We will also be utilising our cutting-edge balance program StandingTall to provide a graded balance program.   Related studies: https://www.neura.edu.au/project/reducing-fear-of-falling-and-activity-avoidance-in-older-adults-with-disproportionate-levels-of-fear-of-falling/ https://www.neura.edu.au/project/standingtall-plus-a-multifactorial-program-to-prevent-falls-in-older-people/ https://www.neura.edu.au/project/standing-tall/
PROJECT