School of Medical Sciences

Human Neurodegenerative Diseases Group - commercial / translational activities

We have a close liaison with health service groups who provide clinical services for patients suffering with:

  • Alzheimer's disease (Dr Phil Wood, Geriatrician),
  • Huntington's disease (Dr Barry Snow, Neurologist; Beth Gordon, Field officer),
  • Parkinson's disease (Dr Barry Snow, Neurologist; Cilla Barkhuizen, Field officer),
  • Epilepsy (Mr Ed Mee, Neurosurgeon; Dr Peter Bergin, Neurologist) and
  • Motor Neuron Disease (Dr Alison Charleston).

Contacts with these groups enables us to receive tissue with a well documented clinical history and to convey the results of our studies (pathology and diagnostic results, genetic results on HD cases) to the families of the patients.

These results play an important part in the ongoing counselling and support of the families provided by these health service agencies; this is especially important for the families of the Huntington's patients who are concerned about the genetic implications of the disease for the family.

Professor Faull and Professor Dragunow play an active role in the promotion of the latest research results and their implications for the care of patients in the community through newspaper articles, radio and TV interviews.

We are also collaborating with Dr Ken Taylor (CEO, Antipodean Biotechnology Ltd) in the design, development and implementation of a drug trial using an antioxidant Q 10 analogue for the treatment of Huntington’s disease. This will be a combined NZ/USA drug trial utilising our close contacts and links with HD families and patients throughout New Zealand, and our links with HD researchers at MGH/Harvard University.

We also consult for biotech companies such as NeuronZ.