What is Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s is a degenerative brain disease where a substance in the brain, called dopamine, is no longer produced. Dopamine is the “magic transmitter” which facilities the brain activity that controls functions such as body movement, muscle control, balance and speech. It can affect mood, behaviour and cognitive behaviour. Simply, Parkinson’s sufferers lose the ability to produce their own dopamine.
There are approximately 10,000 sufferers in NZ and each individual has their own personalised rate of decline. The day of a Parkinson’s sufferer is invariably a rollercoaster ride as the synthetic dopamine medication taken as treatment loses its effectiveness.
Where do the funds raised go?
The formal recipient of the funds raised by NRCT is the Auckland University School of Medicine Foundation and our funds directed to the Centre for Brain Research. We have a close relationship with Distinguished Professor Richard Faull, Director of the Centre for Brain Research, a Professor of Anatomy at The University of Auckland and Founder of the Human Brain Bank; as well as Professor Maurice Curtis.
We are proud that, with the help of our generous family of supporters, the Neuro Research Charitable Trust are members of Sir George Fowlds Society of the Chancellor’s Circle which recognises gifts between $1m and $5m to the University of Auckland.
The Research Project
The research projects funded, and led by Professor Maurice Curtis, neuroscientist and senior lecturer, explore the early diagnoses and how to prevent the adverse changes occurring; accelerate research into ways to slow down or prevent the cellular spread of Lewy bodies, the pathological protein that causes Parkinson’s; and progressing the discovery of new drug treatments.
Through this research it is possible that new learnings will be made that will have direct application not just to Parkinson’s disease but to other neurological ailments such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. This will also provide a better understanding of the brain and functions and how to identify a predisposition to these ailments at an early age.
For further information regarding the research see the following link and article.