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  1. 1. MEMBERS 2003 Newsletter From the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand. PO Box 11 00 22, Auckland 1030 Ph 09 309 7749. 66 Grafton Road (near Auckland Hospital) The objective of the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand is: MISSION Statement “To alleviate suffering from diseases and disorders of the brain and nervous system through research and education”. The Neurological Foundation is New Zealand’s largest provider of funds for neurological research. The case for who carry the gene. The results of some of these projects fill The problem is that in small pieces of a puzzle. The results symptoms of of others are major advances. Sometimes medical research Huntington’s disease don’t develop until these major advances are unexpected; often, though, they are the result of the individual is about painstaking work over many years. “WHY SHOULD I COMMIT MONEY TO MEDICAL 40 years old. This means that children Another aspect of the Foundation’s work RESEARCH? WHY DOESN’T THE GOVERNMENT carrying the gene may have been born to is the support of training for clinicians FUND IT?” the sufferer by the time the symptoms and researchers. The Chapman Fellowship, These must be questions asked by develop and so the disease is perpetuated. named after the late Professor Val many people when they receive The team led by Professor Faull has made Chapman, one of our founding members, some important advances in this area. funds specialist medical training while envelopes from medical research Only a few years ago, another New Zealand Miller Scholarships help science graduates charities in the letter box. researcher was at the forefront of research to work toward higher degrees in the Of course, the Government does fund into this condition when an international neurosciences. The Phillip Wrightson medical research. The Health Research collaboration involving six research teams Postdoctoral Fellowship ensures that Council is New Zealand’s principal in countries around the world identified the middle level neuroscientists are able to Government funding agency. However, Huntington’s gene. Isolation of the gene pursue advanced training. Dr Bronwen money available through taxation is limited means that it is now possible to predict Connor, one of the team leaders in the and there is never enough to satisfy the the disorder and families with Huntington’s stem cell project, was a Neurological demand. When one considers the needs disease are, as a result, able to receive Foundation Fellow at Chicago Children’s of the young, the elderly, the sick and the better counselling. Professor Faull’s stem Hospital in 1999. unemployed, let alone roads, police, cell project, based on the Neurological Like other health-related charities in this prisons, defence and so on, it becomes Foundation Brain Bank, has the potential country, the Neurological Foundation obvious that priorities are not going to work to achieve a major improvement in the places considerable emphasis on its in favour of medical research. It is through treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s role as a promoter of New Zealand-based research, however, that the breakthroughs and Huntington’s diseases. biomedical research. The interests of the which allow us to understand, manage Foundation are focused, of course, on The message is that research is often and perhaps control diseases are made. the nervous system and its disorders. a slow process involving many people During the past few months national in many locations. Donors to medical Each year the Foundation supports daily newspapers have carried reports of research funds must not expect that research into diseases as diverse as advances in the battles against several results will be immediate; each individual stroke, multiple sclerosis, head injuries neurological disorders including multiple project may only find one small piece in and epilepsy, among others, as well as sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s the jig-saw puzzle which so many diseases the neuro-degenerative disorders disease and, most recently, Huntington’s represent. Nevertheless, when the final mentioned earlier. disease. Professor Richard Faull recently piece is found there is benefit to a great The Foundation’s continuing support of addressed a major neuroscience meeting many people. research and researchers is based on in Adelaide about his stem cell research, its belief that improvements in the Our newsletter Headlines frequently carries a project in which the Neurological management of neurological disorders reports on research projects carried out Foundation has been closely involved for with the support of our own Foundation. Continued on page 4 some years, and subsequently he was interviewed on National Radio. Professor Matthew During was the subject of a The Foundation’s AGM will be AGM major article in North and South magazine. held this year in Dunedin on Huntington’s disease (also known as Thursday, 4 December 2003 chorea) is a neuro-degenerative disorder at 5.30 pm. Details of the characterised by progressive loss of control over mobility, personality changes, meeting will be published in depression and dementia. It is not all that common, affecting perhaps one person in 10,000 but it badly affects those families Annual Meeting General Headlines later in the year. All members and supporters are warmly invited to attend. The Neurological Foundation acknowledges the generous suppor t of Mitre 10 stores throughout New Zealand.
  2. 2. Dr Matthias Klugmann, Department of Dr Greg Funk and Professor Janusz Lipski, Research Molecular Medicine and Pathology $108,216 Department of Physiology, 1999 Motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Report Towards global CNS gene therapy for white matter degeneration and epilepsy Ms Anna Mackey, Gait Laboratory, Tamaki Campus Dr Janusz Lipski, Department of Physiology, 2002 An in-vitro study of neurons which degenerate in Parkinson’s disease. $1,616 NEW PROJECTS Assessing the reliability of a clinical scale used to Dr Louise Nicholson, Department of (approved in 31 March 2003 Financial Year) measure dynamic muscle tone in children with Anatomy with Radiology, 2002 cerebral palsy Comparison of human motor neurons that are PHILIP WRIGHTSON POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP differentially sensitive to degeneration in amyotrophic Dr Vanessa Kwan Lim, Department of Sports Dr Rona Moss-Morris, lateral sclerosis (motor neurone disease). and Exercise Science, University of Auckland Department of Health Psychology $98,890 Dr Mark Rees, $50,600 Sensorimotor integration in patients with basal A randomised controlled trial of cognitive behavioural Department of Molecular Medicine, 2002 ganglia dysfunction therapy for fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis Genetic analysis of GABAergic determinants in epilepsy patients with vigabatrin induced visual field Dr Martin Wild, Department of Anatomy MILLER POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIPS $10,000 deterioration Miller Scholarships are awarded to Neurology of hearing - specialisations for Dr Suzanne Barker-Collo and Dr Jan McAllister, outstanding PhD candidates for research high-frequency time coding in auditory neurons Department of Psychology, 2000 into an aspect of neurological function Measures of attention and memory or treatment. The Foundation currently WELLINGTON has five Miller scholars. Dr. Anne La Flamme, Dr David Holland, Department of School of Biological Sciences Molecular Medicine, 2000 Ms Monica Yuk Fai Kam, $94,200 Mechanism of Herpes simplex virus axonal transport Department of Department of Anatomy Role of suppressive macrophage subsets in with Radiology, University of Auckland Miss Gaela Kilgour, Orthopaedic Research Unit, autoimmune induction and regulation (supervisor Professor Richard Faull) Department of Surgery, 2000 $78,069 (over three years) Dr Susan Schenk, Department of Psychology Gait analysis of children with cerebral palsy The migratory route of proliferating stem cells (animal $98,682 Dr Louise Nicholson, Department of Anatomy and in the normal and diseased human brain) Effects of MDMA (ecstasy) self-administration on with Radiology, 2001 cognitive functioning and brain chemistry Ms Toni Pitcher, Department of Anatomy Microglia activation and Huntington’s disease and Structural Biology, University of Otago CANTERBURY WAIKATO HOSPITAL (supervisors Dr Jeff Wickens and Dr John Professor Christine Winterbourn, Reynolds) Department of Pathology, Christchurch Dr James Sleigh, Anaesthetics Department, 2002 $84,210 (over three years) School of Medicine, University of Otago The neurophysiological mechanisms by which general Cellular mechanisms of dopamine function in the $14,885 anaesthesia can cause seizures brain New biomarkers of oxidative stress in brain injury in MASSEY UNIVERSITY premature infants - extension to existing grant Dr Mark Grimes, Institute of Molecular SUMMER STUDENTSHIPS Dr Lianne Woodward, Department of Education Bioscience, 1999 Mr Liang-An Chang, Department of $71,385 The intracellular site of amyloid precursor protein Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, Neurodevelopmental outcomes of children who are cleavage (Alzheimer’s disease) University of Auckland (supervisor Dr Bronwen born early, weighing less than 1,500 grams: the role of Connor), neuroanatomical and socio-environmental factors WELLINGTON SCHOOL OF MEDICINE $4,000 Dr Stuart Mossman, Neurology Department, OTAGO The potential use of hNT2 precursor cells for 1999 transplantation therapy in Huntington’s disease Dr Steven Kerr, Department of Pharmacology Assessment of hypoactive vestibulo-ocular reflex with & Toxicology Mr Peter Freestone, Department of Physiology, infrared eye movement recordings $146,438 University of Auckland (supervisor Professor In vivo and in vitro investigations of CNS tolerance to CANTERBURY UNIVERSITY Janusz Lipski), excitotoxins Ms Jacqueline Harris, Miller Scholarship, 2001 $4,000 Dr Gail Tripp, Department of Psychology Caring for a family member with traumatic brain Acute effects of 6-hydroxydopamine and rotenone on $58,944 injury the morphological and electrophysiological properties of substantia nigra neurons Neuropsychological functioning in children with Mr Marcus Heitger, Department of Medicine, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder 2001 PROJECT GRANTS Dr Jeff Wickens, Department of Anatomy Recovery after head injury AUCKLAND & Structural Biology Professor Larry Kokkinidis, Department of Dr Suzanne Barker-Collo, Department of $7,645 Psychology, 2002 Psychology Regulation of inhibitory interactions in the basal A neural systems approach to kindling and fear $4,961 ganglia memories Early childhood post traumatic amnesia scale (Starship PTA Scale): the predictive value of this scale CURRENT PROJECTS Dr Michael MacAskill, Department of Medicine, for neuropsychological and behavioural outcome after AUCKLAND UNIVERSITY Christchurch Medical School (Philip Wrightson traumatic brain injury in children aged 4-12 years Dr Winston Byblow, Department of Sport Fellowship), 2002 and Exercise Science, 2002 Improving arm control in motor disorders using Dr Winston Byblow, Department of Sports virtual reality techniques for movement disorders and Exercise Science Neural modulation in Parkinson’s disease in response to passive movement such as Parkinson’s disease $45,897 The effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation Dr Bronwen Connor, Department of Professor Christine Winterbourn and Dr Terri on primary motor cortex function in humans Pharmacology, 2002 Inder, Department of Pathology, 1999 Neural stem cells and cell replacement in Oxidative brain injury in premature infants Ms Anna Clarkson, Department of Psychology Huntington’s disease Dr Lianne Woodward, Department of $2,000 Personal resources and social support as predictors Ms Palingu Dhanapala, Miller Scholarship, 2002 Psychological Medicine, and Dr Terrie Inder, of psychosocial adjustment following temporal lobe Potential for neural stem cells transplantation for the Department of Pathology, 2000 resection. treatment of Parkinson’s disease Neurological and psychological correlates of prematuity
  3. 3. OTAGO UNIVERSITY HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE ASSOCIATION PARKINSONISM SOCIETY OF NEW ZEALAND Professor W C Abraham, $2000 for National Huntington’s Conference $5000 for Parkinson International Department of Psychology, 2001 September 2002, Wellington Conference, October 2002, Wellington Amyloid proteins and neural function MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE ASSOCIATION SPEECH & LANGUAGE SERVICE, TAURANGA HOSPITAL Dr Ian Appleton, Department of Pharmacology $3000 towards travel costs for Dr David Oliver (British MND specialist) for seminars in $1000 for speech therapist to attend Motor & Toxicology, 2002 Hypoxia-ischemia induced brain damage: potential Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Neurone Disease Symposium, September neuroprotective effects of endogenous polyamines. Dunedin. 2002, Melbourne, Australia Drs David Bilkey and Ping Liu, MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY ASSOCIATION TE OMANGA HOSPICE, LOWER HUTT Department of Psychology, 2000 $2,000 for neuromuscular physiotherapist to $1000 for nurse to attend Motor Neurone Nitric oxide and Alzheimer’s disease attend an international meeting in Paediatric Neuromuscular Rehabilitation, September Disease Symposium, September 2002, Ms Erin Cawston, Miller Scholarship, 2002 2002, London, UK Melbourne, Australia. The interaction between 5HT2a and RACK1 Serotonin is an important mediator of normal function in the brain, and is implicated in several psychiatric The financial statements for the disorders, such as schizophrenia and mood disorders Dr Douglas Kerr, Department of Pharmacology Financial 31 March 2003 Financial Year (FY03) have been drafted but not yet audited. Summary The auditor’s report will be completed & Toxicology, 2002 shortly and the complete document Mechanisms of inducible tolerance to excitotoxins will be available to members on (Domoic acid is a neurotoxin found in shellfish request and at the AGM in December. following toxic phytoplankton blooms) in young and aged central nervous system neurons The financial statements for the is started. Many projects are approved Associate Professor Neil McNaughton, 31 March 2003 Financial Year (FY03) for two or three years duration and this Department of Psychology, 2001 have been drafted but not yet audited. sum is the total of expenditure committed Effects of brain bypass surgery on memory The auditors’ report will be completed but not yet spent. The Foundation’s shortly and the complete document will policy of increasing the level of activity Dr Hitoshi Nukada, Department of Medicine, 2000 be available to members on request funding over the past several years will Reperfusion nerve injury and at the AGM in December. have a marked impact on neurological Professor Robin Olds, Department of Pathology, research in this country - and therefore 2002 The key points from the draft statements on the quality of care and treatment of Investigation of 5HT2A receptor interactions. are as follows: New Zealanders suffering from Serotonin is an important mediator of normal Income from all sources, particularly neurological disorders. function in the brain, implicated in psychiatric donations and bequests, has continued disorders. The project will investigate how signals The Executive Committee has a policy of the trend in recent years, although as from serotonin affect neurons restricting total overheads (administration might be expected, the level of bequests and fund raising) to the international Dr Dorothy Oorschot, Department of Anatomy fluctuates. Bequests received this and Structural Biology, 2002 benchmark of less than 20% of income. financial year total $1.5 million and the The proportion this financial year is Neural circuits of the striatum: anatomy of synaptic Foundation acknowledges these lasting less than last at 15% which reflects a connections which form a basis for movement control, contributions from supporters of continuing high level of income from for computer modelling of the probable role of the striatum in programming normal bodily movements; neurological research from throughout donations and bequests and careful learning new skilled movements and movement New Zealand. Donations are also at a attention to costs. disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s good level, with the Householder Appeal Overall the financial situation of the disease and cerebral palsy returning a record $133,000 and other Foundation is satisfactory although the Drs Bruce Russell and Ian Mullaney, donations, principally from the Headlines Council and the Executive Committee Department of Pharmacology, 2000 donation slip and the annual subscription are far from complacent. The wisdom of Nitric oxide and “Ecstasy” induced neurotoxicity appeal to members, totalling a further the Foundation’s policy of establishing a $496,000. The increase in the research sound capital base, a true “foundation”, Dr Paul Smith, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 2002 budget from $450,000 (2000 and the is amply demonstrated by the continuing The contribution of glucocorticoids to recovery from 1990s) to $650,000 (2001) and then high level of project expenditure. vestibular damage $750,000 (2002) has been maintained As the Foundation’s capital has this year with the budget for the increased, so have activities with the aim Professor Paul Smith and Assoc Professor Cynthia Darlington, Department of 31 March 2003 financial year set at a of activity expenditure reaching $1 million Pharmacology, 2000 record $1 million and maintained for the per year now achieved. Since all of the Hippocampal dysfunction after vestibular damage coming year. This record amount is a Foundation’s income for its activities of tribute to the generosity of New Zealand medical research, professional education Dr Jeffery Wickens, Department of Anatomy & Structural Biology, 2001 supporters of neurological research. and public information comes from the Dopamine functions in a model of Attention Deficit New projects totalling $1,089,000 were community, any increase depends entirely Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) approved in the financial year 1 April 2002 on the extent to which the Foundation can to 31 March 2003, details of which are attract community support. So far, this Dr Joanna Williams, Professors Abraham and listed opposite. This is not the actual has steadily increased over the 30 years Tate, Departments of Biochemistry and Psychology, 2001 expenditure for the year, which varies of the Foundation’s existence and the Glutamate receptors and memory according to progress in particular projects, Council and staff will be trying very hard but the level of new project approvals - to ensure that this continues in the future. GRANTS The Foundation awards grants to selected the budget for the Scientific Advisory Income summary FY 2003 individuals and organisations likely to make a Committee for the year plus any surplus significant impact on the provision of services from the preceding year’s budget. Donations $629,000 to patients and their families; recent grants The commitment to future research Bequests $1,500,000 are as follows: Testamentary Trusts $58,000 expenditure is currently $2,116,250 GUILLAIN BARRE SYNDROME SUPPORT GROUP i.e. the approved cost for actual research Subscriptions $29,000 $1000 for National Conference, April 2003, projects to be committed as the research Total $2,216,000 Wellington
  4. 4. LIFE MEMBERS THE CASE FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH Changing Len Hart A founding member of the Council, Len Continued from page 1 your Address? Hart was a Trustee and secretary of the Council and the SAC from 1971 to 1990. will follow in the footsteps of successful research. Richard Laverty What are the returns for the Foundation’s If you are moving - let us know Professor Dick Laverty headed the investment in research? One immediate your new address Pharmacology Department at Otago benefit is the availability of expert opinion, University until his recent retirement. call us toll free on 0508 BRAINS He chaired the Scientific Advisory advice and comment on neurological (0508 272 467) (the office opens Committee and served on the Council matters as they arise. In New Zealand from 1993 to 2000. we are fortunate to have well informed, at 7 a.m. each morning) enthusiastic and highly skilled Gerald McDouall or write to Freepost 2064, neuroscientists, physicians and surgeons Former Wanganui Division chairman Neurological Foundation, using their expertise and training to Gerald McDouall served on the Council from 1971 to 1991. advance the cause of neurological PO Box 110022, Auckland 1030 research. or email Peter Shaw The Foundation is currently supporting A founding member of the Council, Peter Shaw was chairman from 1989 to 1993. 53 research projects and utilises the combined expertise and detailed FINANCIAL SUMMARY Mervyn Vile knowledge of this group of investigators Still the chairman of the Canterbury/West Continued from page 3 to keep the public aware of significant Coast Division, Merv Vile served on the advances in neurological diseases. Council from 1971 to 1991. RECEIPTS It is no coincidence that countries and Donations to the Neurological Foundation Philip Wrightson MBE centres where the best medical services are tax deductible up to a limit for each Auckland neurosurgeon Philip Wrightson are to be found are those carrying out taxpayer; currently $1,500 per person chaired the Scientific Advisory Committee quality research. The Foundation’s policy i.e. couples can claim a tax rebate from 1971 to 1979 and then served as of providing specialists in disorders of for donations totalling $3,000 (the Medical Director (combining the present appointments of Medical Adviser and the nervous system with the opportunity donations can be made in the name to carry out research has been one of Scientific Secretary) from 1979 to 1994. of one of the couple only). the key factors that has helped to retain Tax refund claims must be supported by COMMUNITY LIAISON OFFICERS our specialists and the skills they have receipts which is why we endeavour to Part-time Community Liaison Officers are acquired. located throughout the country. Any reader return receipts to our supporters as Access to the most recent information wanting more information on the quickly as possible. Receipts are either Foundation or who would like information goes beyond our own neuroscientists. hand-written on an official receipt form, on helping the Foundation through their One of the Foundation’s continuing roles printed with the Neurological Foundation will should contact their local Community has been to encourage its researchers to logo and address/GST details or printed Liaison Officer. Names and contact travel overseas and discuss their studies by computer and showing the same detail. numbers are as follows: with like-minded colleagues. Several All donations to the Foundation are Northland, Waitakere and North researchers travel each year using receipted promptly so if you do not receive Shore/Harbour: grants from the Foundation and the your receipt or it is in a form other than Julia Moran 09 309 7749 communication network that is built that described above, please contact your Auckland and Manukau: up during these exchanges is used to local Division (volunteers in the Divisions Debra Reardon 09 309 7749 expand the information pool available process, receipt and bank all donations Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Coromandel, to local researchers. before sending the details to the National King Country and Taupo: Office) or contact the National Office direct Barry Ashby 07 856 9727 The Foundation is also aware of the need on 0508 BRAINS (0508 272 467). to enhance its research commitment by Central North Island (Taranaki, Wanganui, attracting New Zealand’s top students Bequests and donations are the Manawatu, Hawkes Bay, Horowhenua, Wellington, Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa): into the study of neurological disorders. Neurological Foundation’s main source of funds - the Neurological Foundation Keith Hounslow 04 526 2076 The Foundation is getting good value for is a totally community-based organisation, Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough its research dollar and, in doing so, is receiving no Government funding and West Coast: ensuring that New Zealanders continue whatsoever (the Government has its own Cecilia Gillard 03 365 3664 to have access to neurological services research organisation, the Health Research Otago and Southland: that are based on the best available Council, with whom we work closely). Blair Davidson 03 489 6933 information and research. Want to learn about Neurological Foundation? the Would you like your friends and colleagues to find out more about the Neurological Foundation? Executive Director Max Ritchie is happy to speak to groups and meetings about neurological research and the Neurological Foundation. In the past year he has spoken to church groups, retirement communities, Rotary, Probus and Lions Clubs and other service organisations, women’s and men’s groups, with many attended by both! If you would like to have a speaker, please call the National Office on 09 309 7749 or Freephone 0508 BRAINS (0508 272 467) or write to PO Box 11 00 22, Auckland 1030.