31 Jan 2019

A$140,000 donation kicks off research for Visual Snow

Back row (L - R): Dr Ben Sinclair, Paige Foletta, Dr Scott Kolbe,
Front row (L - R): Dr Meaghan Clough, Professor Owen White,
Associate Professor Joanne Fielding, Emma Solly.

Thanks to a donation from the US-based non-profit Visual Snow Initiative (VSI), Monash University Department of Neuroscience researchers, Associate Professor Joanne Fielding and Professor  Owen White, will conduct Australia’s first  exploration of an emerging neurological syndrome called Visual Snow.

Many young people are affected by the hallmark symptom of constant and dynamic “snow” in the entire field of vision.  One minute you see the world clearly and in an instant, without warning, a life is changed forever. It can be a 24/7 battle because it never goes away with the eyes opened or closed. Others are born with the condition, and many don’t realize how abnormal their vision really is. A new dilemma can occur for those seeking a diagnosis or treatment. Eye tests almost always come back normal because Visual Snow is not an eye disorder but a brain malfunction.  Because Visual Snow manifests itself in the eyes, it often leaves both patients and physicians in limbo, uncertain of where to go next for a diagnosis. This also makes it difficult to estimate how many people are affected.

Symposium: Toward better detection and management of sports concussion

This symposium will discuss major results from an NHMRC funded project to determine whether current practice with regard to concussion detection and management in Australian Football would be augmented by the use of instrumented accelerometers. It's an opportunity to better detect and manage sports concussion, particularly at the junior and amateur level.

Speakers include Professor Biswadev Mitra, Professor Jeffery Rosenfeld, Dr Michael Makdissi, Professor Andrew McIntosh and Dr David Hughes.

Click here for event flyer.

When: Wednesday 13th February 2019, 12:30pm - 4:30pm
Where: A+ Lecture Theatre (formerly AMREP), 80 Commercial Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004
RSVP: annie.carter@monash.edu

Funding success for cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia

Dr Caroline Gurvich

Dr Caroline Gurvich has been awarded $100,000 over two years from the Rebecca Cooper Foundation, a philanthropic body focussed on medical research in Australia.

Dr Gurvich, Deputy Director of the Women’s Mental Health Division and Head of the Cognitive Neurosciences Unit at MAPrc (Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre), will investigate how sex and stress hormones contribute to cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. Whilst cognitive impairment is common in schizophrenia patients, the symptoms are yet to be targeted by pharmacotherapy, mostly due to the lack of research. The study will investigate a novel approach to understanding and treating cognitive impairments in schizophrenia.

Study sheds light on reason why children fare worse after brain injury

by Anne Crawford

Dr Bridgette Semple (standing) and Research Assistant
Larissa Dill
Growing research suggests that children may be more vulnerable to developing long-term cognitive and social behaviour problems after traumatic brain injury (TBI) compared to adults but the reasons why are unclear.

A study by Department of Neuroscience scientist Dr Bridgette Semple and colleagues has probed this under-researched area and points to biological mechanisms that might be responsible. The study, published in the Journal of Comparative Neurology, also suggests a potential treatment strategy.

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