Archive

Project Summary: In syringomyelia, fluid cysts expand and damage the spinal cord and can lead to disabling pain, paralysis and other neurological effects. Treatment is often unsuccessful because the exact mechanisms of how fluid circulates in the spine and builds up in the spinal cord is...

Project Summary: Multiple  system  atrophy  (MSA)  affects  over  2000  Australians.  MSA  is  a  distinct  member  of   the  group  of  neurodegenerative  diseases  called  α-­synucleinopathies  whereby  the  fibrillar   protein  α-­synuclein  aggregates  in  brain  tissue.  Although  well-­defined  clinically  the  molecular   causes  of  MSA  has  not  yet  been  elucidated.   ...

Project Summary: Tremor is the rhythmic shaking of a body part and is a common and disabling problem seen in diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Essential Tremor. At present there is no single diagnostic test to determine the cause of a person’s tremor. This represents...

Project Summary: Thyroid hormone is essential for regulation of cell metabolism. Hyperthyroidism is an elevation of thyroid hormone levels. It is a common condition affecting up to 1.3% of the population. Muscle weakness involving the shoulders and hips is a well-recognised complication and affects 60-80% of...

Project Summary: Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) and multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) are immune disorders of the peripheral nerves. Both conditions can cause significant weakness and functional disability including difficulty with walking and ability to carry out self-care. CIDP and MMN are extremely heterogenous with varied...

Project Summary: Tourette syndrome/tics, obsessive compulsive disorder and autism are very common neuropsychiatric diseases with onset in childhood affecting 1 in 50-200 people. Tourette syndrome is characterized by multiple motor tics and vocal tics. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in children causes unwanted thoughts resulting in repetitive compulsive...

Project Summary: Motor neurone disease (MND) is a universally fatal neurodegenerative disease with no known cure. More than 2000 people in Australia are affected by motor neurone disease with an average life expectancy of 2.5 years. Classical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) accounts for some 80% of MND...

Project Summary: Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM) is the most common type of inflammatory muscle disease that affects adults over 40 years old. IBM leads to progressive wasting and weakness of muscles, particularly the thighs and forearms. Because of non-specific initial symptoms, which include difficulty in climbing...

Project Summary: Stroke is an important cause of epileptic seizures in adults. While several factors associated with the development of epilepsy after stroke have been identified, predicting which patients will develop seizures remains difficult. One of the most important biological factors that may be relevant is...

Project Summary: Stroke is the most frequent cause of permanent disability in adults and a major cause of death worldwide. Caused by a sudden blockage in important blood vessels that supplies oxygen and nutrients to the brain, brain cells can quickly die due to starvation. Opening...

Project Summary: Stroke is the second leading cause of death in the world and a major source of disability affecting quality of life.  In Australia, approximately 50,000 people per annum experience a stroke, causing death in ~25% of cases.  Over the last 30 years, numerous therapeutic...

Project Summary: A new type of cancer treatment, called “immunotherapy”, stimulates the patient’s immune system to fight their cancer.  The first immunotherapies were recently introduced into medical practice and have already demonstrated the ability to shrink and sometimes eliminate several types of advanced cancers that were...

Project Summary: Today in Australia, 4 people will be diagnosed with a brain tumour. This equates to 1600 tumours in Australia each year. These may be benign or malignant. Present day treatments include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, drug treatments or a combination of these. Mortality is high...

Project Summary: About 1% of people worldwide suffer from epilepsy. Human temporal lobe epilepsy (hTLE) is the most common type of epilepsy among adults. Many anti-seizure drugs are available, but are often ineffective. Around 50% of all TLE patients still suffer from seizures. Thus, there is...

Project Summary: A diagnosis of dementia results in significant distress for the individual, their family, and wider social network, and places considerable burden on already overstretched health resources. Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the second most common type of presenile dementia, after Alzheimer’s disease, resulting in progressive...

Project Summary: Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia, is a chronic, progressive disease that leads to the degeneration of neurons which are key to the function of the brain. Despite enormous research efforts Alzheimer’s disease still not fully understood. One of the major limitations...

Project Summary: Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) is a common early-onset neurodegenerative disorder in adults aged 45 to 64 years. It can be subtyped into behavioral-variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), clinically defined by changes in personality and behavior, and primary progressive aphasia (PPA), the progressive impairment of language capabilities....

Project Summary: Today, between five and ten millions of patients in the world are fighting Parkinson’s disease. It is becoming so common that most of us know someone close living with the disease. The movement symptoms in Parkinson’s are caused by the loss of dopamine cells...

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