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Curtin University researchers have been awarded more than $1.1million from MSWA to conduct vital neurological research, focussing on major outcomes for people living with MS and Alzheimer’s disease.

For the third consecutive year, MSWA has made substantial funding commitments towards Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI) projects that have the potential to improve the quality of life for people living with a neurological disease.

CHIRI Director Professor John Mamo has been awarded $550,000 to lead a new trial that aims to reverse the early stages of MS by targeting the underlying cause of MS.

CHIRI Associate Professor Lucinda Black, also from Curtin’s School of Population Health, has received $250,000 to investigate how a high-fat diet, including red meat and omega-3s, may promote or reduce the risk of developing MS.

Associate Professor Anne Whitworth, Co-Domain Lead of Curtin’s enAble Institute and CHIRI’s Neurological Program Lead, was also awarded $350,000 to develop an ipad-based app for stroke patients suffering with aphasia, a language disorder that affects a person’s ability to speak and commonly occurs after a stroke.

The funding for Professor Mamo’s research is in addition to $300,000 allocated by MSWA in previous years to support the pioneering of a clinical trial that aims to prevent further memory loss in people living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Professor Mamo said the generous support provided by MSWA was testament to the quality of research in neurological disorders being carried out at Curtin University.

“Our Probucol in Alzheimer’s disease trial (PIA-Study) would not be where it is today without that critical initial funding support from MSWA,” Professor Mamo said.

“The PIA-Study will be the first of its kind – globally – to explore if a therapeutic approach to support the brain microvasculature, such as capillaries, will stabilise cognitive loss in people living with Alzheimer’s disease.

“As well as providing therapeutic outcomes for people living with MS and Alzheimer’s disease, this new funding will also provide extraordinary training opportunities for our next generation of Australian scientists who have particular interests in neurological disorders.”

MSWA CEO Marcus Stafford AM said he was confident that the continued investment would make a difference to many people living with a neurological condition.

“Each year we carefully select research projects that have high potential. Professor Mamo and his team at Curtin’s two principal health and medical research institutes, CHIRI and EnAble, have done some incredible research to date,” Mr Stafford said.

“This new funding is a reflection of how much we value their work in this space, which we believe will drive future neurological advances.”

Further information on CHIRI projects can be found online here.