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News & events archive 2016

The Effect of THC on the Dopamine System

Wednesday, 21 December 2016 12:14pm

A recent review of research shows that THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, alters the dopamine system in the brain.

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Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy

Monday, 19 December 2016 12:15pm

A team of researchers, including Associate Professor Lynette Sadleir of the BHRC, have examined the genetic underpinnings of SUDEP.

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A Molecule Which Can Improve Memory Function

Friday, 16 December 2016 12:17pm

BHRC researchers have found that a molecule related to amyloid-beta can improve the memory of impaired individuals

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Cognitive Decline After Stroke

Friday, 16 December 2016 12:18pm

Dr Andrew Clarkson has validated what stroke sufferers have been reporting for years: Memory problems get worse weeks after stroke.

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Professorship tops off wonderful year for Otago academic

Thursday, 15 December 2016 2:28pm

Being promoted to full Professor is the icing on the cake of an incredible year for John Reynolds of Anatomy.

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BHRC Researchers Investigate Dyskinesia

Monday, 5 December 2016 12:20pm

BHRC researchers identify which genes put people at risk of developing dyskinesia after taking Parkinson's Disease medication

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Recovering After Disaster

Monday, 5 December 2016 12:32pm

In the wake of disaster what can we do to reduce the chance of mental health problems?

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Roche Scholar Seminar: Madeleine Kyrke-Smith

Thursday, 17 November 2016 12:34pm

Madeleine Kyrke-Smith, winner of the 2015 Roche Hanns Möhler Doctoral Scholarship, discusses her work on the impact of DNA on memory.

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Space Travel and Brain Damage

Tuesday, 15 November 2016 12:35pm

Traveling to Mars could cause serious and irreparable brain damage. Why does this happen, and what can be done to prevent it?

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Researcher Profile: Associate Professor Dorothy Oorschot

Monday, 31 October 2016 12:38pm

Associate Professor Dorothy Oorschot is developing a treatment which could save premature babies from brain damage.

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A Three-Person Child Is Born

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 12:39pm

The first child conceived using a controversial fertility technique was recently revealed to have been born. How will his conception impact the rest of his life?

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Wednesday, 26 October 2016 12:41pm

Dr Louise Parr-Brownlie and Dr Stephanie Hughes of the BHRC have founded a platform for viral vector and optogenetics research.

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MRI Scans for the Dunedin Longitudinal Study

Thursday, 20 October 2016 12:42pm

Professor Ahmad Hariri, from Duke University, discusses his work with the Dunedin Longitudinal Study and whether you can identify mental illness before it is triggered.

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Can Cannabis Treat Epilepsy?

Friday, 7 October 2016 12:43pm

Dr Paul Shillito, a paediatric neurologist, explains why medicinal marijuana isn't necessarily a miracle cure for epilepsy.

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Inflatable Brain in the Whakatane Beacon

Friday, 30 September 2016 3:38pm

An article from the Whakatane Beacon about the giant inflatable brain's recent trip to Whakatane

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Articles About Our Developmental Researchers

Wednesday, 28 September 2016 4:59pm

A collection of articles about the developmental researchers who are a part of the BHRC.

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BHRC Seminars From 2016

Wednesday, 28 September 2016 5:11pm

A list and links to all of the BHRC seminar articles from 2016.

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Can Ketamine Treat Depression?

Monday, 26 September 2016 12:44pm

Professor Paul Glue, along with Australian colleagues, is running a trial to determine if ketamine is effective for treating depression.

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2016 Hot Topic Seminar: Dr Andrew Clarkson

Friday, 9 September 2016 12:45pm

Dr Andrew Clarkson has developed a potential treatment to reduce the impact of stroke.

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Researcher Profile: Professor Stephen Robertson

Monday, 29 August 2016 12:47pm

Professor Stephen Robertson is a paediatric geneticist researching genetic diseases related to stem cells.

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Researcher Profile: Stephanie Hughes

Wednesday, 10 August 2016 12:48pm

Dr Stephanie Hughes is trying to find treatments for the childhood onset neurodegenerative disease Batten disease

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Physical Effort Discounts Estimates of Future Reward

Tuesday, 19 July 2016 12:50pm

PhD student Thom Elston discusses how motivation is impacted by increases in difficulty.

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Can Varenicline Help to Control Huntington's Disease Symptoms?

Wednesday, 6 July 2016 12:51pm

Dr Ailsa McGregor discusses her work in examining whether the anti-smoking drug varenicline can control the symptoms of Huntington's Disease

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The Influence of Exercise on Motor Nerve Terminal Degeneration in Elderly Mice

Wednesday, 6 July 2016 12:54pm

PhD student Katherine Nielsen explains how exercise could slow the onset of muscle weakness caused by aging.

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Innovative Otago brain research supported by Neurological Foundation

Tuesday, 5 July 2016 1:16pm

University of Otago scientists have gained a total of around $912,000 to pursue eight brain research projects in the Neurological Foundation’s July funding round announced today.

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Researcher Profile - Christine Jasoni

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 12:56pm

Associate Professor Christine Jasoni keeps you up to date with exactly what she and her lab are researching

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Effort Changes How We Experience Movement

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 12:58pm

PhD student Blake Porter explains how your brain accounts for differences in effort

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Control, Choice, Support

Thursday, 23 June 2016 5:02pm

Professor Leigh Hale discusses the success in letting people with multiple sclerosis guide their own physiotherapy

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What do you mean 'anxiety'? Developing the first anxiety syndrome biomarker

Tuesday, 21 June 2016 5:00pm

As part of a BHRC 2016 public lecture Professor Neil McNaughton explains how his work may make testing anti-anxiety drugs easier

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The Evolving Human Brain: Fertile Genetic Ground for Disease?

Friday, 17 June 2016 4:59pm

As part of the 2016 BHRC conference Professor Stephen Robertson discusses how human evolution may be the cause of some developmental disorders.

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BHRC Conference 2016

Wednesday, 8 June 2016 1:55pm

The Brain Health Research Centre's yearly conference packs a years worth of scientific discovery into two days.

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Zika Virus: An Update

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 10:29am

An update on the current scientific understanding of zika virus and its impact on fetal brain development

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Clinical Issues - ASD Seminar in Review

Friday, 20 May 2016 4:56pm

Dr Paul Trani, Frida O'Neill, and Professor Ian McLennan discuss the clinical and research approaches to Autism Spectrum Disorder. Is the current system good enough?

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Clinical Issues - Epilepsy Seminar in Review

Friday, 6 May 2016 4:54pm

Associate Professor Graeme Hammond-Tooke, a clinician, and Associate Professor Beulah Leitch, a researcher, come together to explain epilepsy to BHRC members.

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Maintaining Muscle Tone As You Age

Tuesday, 3 May 2016 4:53pm

Associate Professor Phil Sheard explains why we become weaker as we age, and why exercise may be the key to staying active for longer.

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A Potential Genetic Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Monday, 2 May 2016 4:51pm

An explanation of exciting new research into the genetic causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We discuss the SHANK3 gene and explore why it might be the key to curing some individuals with ASD.

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The Power of the Subconscious: Sleep and Dreams

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 4:47pm

Hypnotherapist Karen Hughes and psychology Professor David Bilkey explain the relationship between hypnotherapy and sleep.

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An Update on Neurosurgery Research

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 4:45pm

Professor Dirk De Ridder, the current Chair of Neurosurgery, updates the public on the progress he and his collegues have made to neurosurgery research in Dunedin.

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Neurodome - Premier in Review

Thursday, 7 April 2016 3:49pm

The Neurodome project utilizes immersive display technology, including planetarium format and virtual reality, to create new ways for learning about the brain.

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2016 Brain Week In Review

Thursday, 7 April 2016 3:23pm

Summaries of every 2016 Brain Week event are available here.

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The Power of Food - Lecture in Review

Thursday, 7 April 2016 4:37pm

As the first event of Brain Week visiting Professor Massimiano Bucchi and University of Otago Professor Dave Grattan discussed the role of food in society and on our brains.

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The Impact of Maternal Health on Foetal Development

Thursday, 7 April 2016 4:35pm

Associate Professor Christine Jasoni explains how the maternal mind and body can impact development in utero. In this interview she discusses how early intervention may be the key to keeping these impacted children healthy and happy.

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The Power of Music - Lecture in Review

Thursday, 7 April 2016 4:38pm

Professor Warren Tate discusses the role music has played in his own life, and how it may be an important tool for helping people suffering from dementia.

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Getting Active After Concussion - Seminar in Review

Thursday, 7 April 2016 4:43pm

A concussion can really impact your quality of life. In this event the Dunedin Concussion Team explained what happens to your brain during a concussion, and how to get back into your routine after the injury.

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An Interview with Russell Snell

Thursday, 7 April 2016 4:40pm

For the first interview of Brain Week Russell Snell explains his research, past and present. He discusses his role in discovering the Huntington's gene, HTT, in 1993 and how his research towards a cure is progressing.

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Otago research holds promise for Alzheimer’s diagnostic blood test

Tuesday, 5 April 2016 11:50am

University of Otago researchers have discovered a promising new marker that could help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease — and all that might be required is a simple blood test.

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The Reality Behind the Movie 'Concussion'

Friday, 11 March 2016 10:04am

The movie 'Concussion' tells the true story of Dr Bennet Omalu, who discovered severe neurodegeneration could be caused by repeat concussion. We thought this would be a perfect opportunity to refresh your understand of concussion, and explain how it can cause damage to your brain.

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Human brain on show in planetarium

Wednesday, 9 March 2016 1:27pm

Ever wanted to see inside a real human brain as fluorescent neurons fire out messages?

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The Future of Human Genetic Engineering

Wednesday, 2 March 2016 11:27am

Human genetic engineering is no longer science fiction. A new technique has given us the opportunity to potentially eradicate genetic disease, but what is this technique And should we use it?

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BHRC/BRNZ joint seminar - Prof John Rostas

Monday, 29 February 2016 10:55am

Calcium is important for more than just healthy bones. According to Emeritus Professor John Rostas, it is also a key factor in cell death during stroke.

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BHRC February Newsletter

Friday, 26 February 2016 12:51pm

The February issue of the Brain Health Research Centre's quarterly newsletter is now available.

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Science Outreach prize for Blake

Thursday, 25 February 2016 1:55pm

BHRC student Blake Porter has won a University of Otago Outreach certificate for his regular blog on neuroscience topics.

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Brain Week Otago 2016 programme

Tuesday, 16 February 2016 11:44am

A full week of free activities, speakers and events based on learning more about the brain and the power of the mind.

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What is this "love hormone" oxytocin?

Sunday, 14 February 2016 1:30pm

BHRC researcher Dr Karl Iremonger gives the scientific low down on the "love hormone" oxytocin.

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The link between the immune system and schizophrenia explained

Wednesday, 10 February 2016 10:46am

Schizophrenia effects more than 30,000 New Zealanders, and until recently had no known cause. This article explains new findings which suggest that the immune system plays a key role in the development of schizophrenia.

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Can electrical stimulation boost your brain?

Tuesday, 9 February 2016 10:17am

Visiting researcher Prof John Rothwell, from the University of College London, discusses whether electrical stimulation can harness the natural power of the human brain to recover from stroke or speed up learning.

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Zika virus - what is known so far

Wednesday, 3 February 2016 11:07am

The Zika virus is a mosquito borne illness which has been linked to a spike in birth defects in South America. As of February 1st, it has been declared an international health emergency by the World Health Organisation. In this article the BHRC explains how the virus spreads and what can be done to stop it.

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Brain implant to curb addiction

Monday, 25 January 2016 10:44am

BHRC neurosurgeon Prof Dirk De Ridder is trialing implants in the brains of alcoholics to try to resolve their addictions. Of the four patients implanted so far one has stopped completely while the other three have greatly reduced their drinking.

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BHRC researcher named OSMS 2015 Distinguished Academic Teacher

Wednesday, 6 January 2016 9:55am

Associate Professor Phil Sheard was awarded the Otago School of Medical Sciences 2015 Distinguished Academic Teacher award at the end of year award ceremony in December.

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OSMS 2015 Kaupapa Maori Research Award given to BHRC researcher

Tuesday, 5 January 2016 11:27am

BHRC researcher Dr Louise Parr-Brownlie was awarded the 2015 Kaupap Maori Research Award from the Otago School of Medical Sciences for her research into Parkinson's disease.

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Alzheimers essay wins Otago Medical School Research Society essay prize

Monday, 4 January 2016 11:36am

 BHRC student Nikita Potemkin's essay "Helping the fight against Alzheimer's disease: Beating the bullies" won the Otago Medical School Research Society's prize for science writing.
Click through to read the whole essay.