Neuroscientists support the 2016 Huntington’s Disease National Conference

09 May 2016
Dr Nassim Mehrabi, Dr Malvindar Singh-Bains, Distinguished Professor Richard Faull and Samantha Murray raise funds for Huntington's disease research and advocacy.

Researchers and clinicians from across New Zealand will converge at the 2016 Huntington’s disease National Conference in Auckland next weekend.

The Conference will showcase the latest in Huntington’s disease research findings and available therapies at the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May 2016 and late registrations are available.  

This annual event is hosted and supported by the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch HD Associations and sponsored by the University of Auckland’s Centre for Brain Research (CBR).

Both conference days will showcase the work of the Centre’s world-class scientists and collaborating clinicians, as well as a screening of the powerful 2014 Australian-New Zealand documentary ‘The Inheritance’.

The film tells of the history, science and impact of Huntington’s disease, through the personal story of the filmmakers, gene-positive Bridget Lyon and her partner Jeff McDonald, as they discover that this hereditary, neurodegenerative disease runs in their family.

Huntington’s disease is a genetic disorder that affects about one in every 10,000 people and about five in every 10,000 are at risk of developing the disease.

The disease leads to complete incapacitation and eventually, death. At the moment, there are no treatments that will slow down or stop the disease in humans, but there is hope for a meaningful treatment.

The CBR hosts several research teams who are committed to finding insights that lead to novel HD treatments and therapies. This is why the Centre is sponsoring this year's conference and providing the HD Association with their most valuable resource; expert researchers.

The Director of the Centre for Brain Research, Distinguished Professor Richard Faull will deliver the opening speech, followed by HD updates from his CBR lab researchers Associate Professor Henry Waldvogel, Dr Malvindar Singh-Bains, Dr Nassim Mehrabi, Christine Arasaratnam and Samantha Murray.

Research discoveries and clinical insights from Associate Professor Lynette Tippett (Dementia Prevention Research Clinics), Dr Melanie Cheung (FightHD) and Associate Professor Maurice Curtis (Plasticity in the HD brain), will also be presented during this two-day event.

This informative, compelling and engaging day focussing on Huntington’s Disease provides a platform for affected community members, students, scientists and the general public to hear from multi-disciplinary speakers, share insights, and promote collaboration.

The audience will also discover the latest treatment options and meet inspiring families in this action-packed weekend on Huntington’s Disease. Most importantly, the Huntington’s Disease Youth Organisation of New Zealand (HDYO) will be launched on the morning of the conferenceand is specifically directed at providing support, advocacy and education for youth at risk of HD.

“The 2016 HD National Conference has an impressive line-up of speakers, including scientists to give us the newest updates on HD research, including the amazing research being done here in New Zealand, and clinicians to talk about the clinical aspects of HD care,” says the HD Association’s Manager, Jo Dysart. “This is also a time where families can come together to talk about the impact of HD in their lives.”



For more information, event timetable, registrations and interviews please contact;


Frankie Favero

Communications and Marketing Senior Adviser

Centre for Brain Research

University of Auckland

Email: Frankie Favero

Ddi: 09 923 1952

Mobile: 021 146 9183