Brain Research New Zealand is born

11 January 2015

The ageing brain will be the focus of the new Centre for Research Excellence funding co-hosted by the University of Auckland.

The new CoRE is to be co-hosted by the University of Auckland and the University of Otago under the leadership of co-directors Distinguished Professor Richard Faull (Auckland) and Professor Cliff Abraham (Otago).

A key focus of the new CoRE, to be known as ‘Brain Research New Zealand - Rangahau Roro Aotearoa’ is to unlock the secrets of the ageing brain and develop new therapies and better clinical and community care to enhance lifelong brain health for all New Zealanders.

The CoRE forms a national partnership between the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland, the Brain Health Research Centre at the University of Otago, and researchers at AUT University and the NZ Brain Research Institute in Christchurch.

This collaboration will harness the strength of the nation’s world-leading scientific and clinical expertise in the aging brain.

Professors Faull and Abraham say "Like all developed nations, New Zealand has an ageing population and a rapidly increasing number of people with ageing-related brain disorders like stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases.

“By 2036 one in four New Zealanders aged over 65 will be affected by an ageing-related brain disorder. These disorders can result in profound and long-term impairment and place huge physical and emotional strains on individuals, family, and whanau.”

“The mission of Brain Research New Zealand is for our scientists, clinicians and the community to work together to unlock the secrets of the ageing brain so that we can develop new therapies and better clinical and community care to enhance lifelong brain health. “

"The vision of this CoRE is to enable people to age well with a healthy brain. Developing a truly national, collaborative response to this issue is of critical importance” says Professors Faull and Abraham. “Direct costs associated with these disorders are estimated to be more than $1 billion per year and are rising by more than 5 per cent per year.