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New test for Alzheimer's

Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Mental health illness accounts for 25 per cent of the health burden in Australia.

The newly created Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Mental Health has been awarded $23 million from the federal government to develop diagnostics and early treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Schizophrenia and other related disorders.

Just like blood sugar levels can be used as a biomarker for diabetes, the CRC aims to find small molecules or subtle brain image changes which could act as biomarkers for mental health illnesses.

Chair in Ageing and Alzheimer’s disease at ECU and Director of the McCusker Foundation, Professor Ralph Martins and his colleagues, will be working with 20 organisations that make up the CRC for Mental Health including CSIRO, Hall and Prior, MHRI, McCusker Foundation, Mercy Health and Pfizer.

As with many mental illnesses, the early diagnoses and treatment of neurological diseases can have positive impacts on both the patient and their wider families. 

It is hoped that this work will deliver benefits at an economic and social level both to Australia and the rest of the world.

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