Tag Archives: medical science

Fighting stroke damage

A drug based on a molecule naturally present in infants – but which declines in adulthood – can halve the scarring in brains of those who have suffered stroke. And it can be delivered up to a week afterward.

The drug developed by James and Leon minimises the amount of scarring after the wound has been stabilised. Credit: Leon Teo
Enlarged cell bodies (pink), with increased scar-forming (green) following stroke. Credit: Leon Teo

“We hope our work will improve the recovery of the elderly, as well as people in rural and remote communities, who haven’t had access to speedy treatment following a stroke,” says Associate Professor James Bourne at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI ), and Chief Investigator of the research.
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Understanding the genetic contribution to epilepsy

Twenty years ago doctors thought epilepsy was caused by injuries or tumours but, thanks to the work of a Melbourne paediatrician, we now know that there’s a large genetic factor.

Ingrid Scheffer with one of her young patients Credit: SDP/ L’Oréal
Ingrid Scheffer with one of her young patients. Credit: SDP/ L’Oréal

Prof Ingrid Scheffer, a paediatric neurologist at the Florey Neuroscience Institutes and the University of Melbourne, has spent the last 20 years looking at the genetics of epilepsy, particularly in children.

We now know that genes play a large role and that’s opened the way to better diagnosis, treatment, counselling, and potential cures.

In particular, Ingrid’s team and her collaborators at the University of South Australia have discovered that one kind of inherited infant epilepsy is due to a single letter change in the genetic code.

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