The following grants were approved prior to December 2012.
$24,000Dr Paul Smith Department of Psychology, University of Otago 1995 - June
The study will examine the possibility that fragments of the pituitary gland hormone, adrenocorticotrophic (ACTH) might be useful in the treatment of several neurological disorders. Fragments of the intact molecule are thought to be neuroprotective but the lack of understanding of the way in which they work are limiting their usefulness in medical practice. This study will use hearing system nerve damage and its recovery as a model to determine the mechanism by which short ACTH fragments work.
$17,500Dr Hitoshi Nikada Department of Medicine, University of Otago 1995 - June
This is a collaborative investigation between the Departments of Medicine and Surgery at Otago Medical School. The work will assess the effect of the loss of blood supply, and its subsequent restoration, or peripheral nerves. Individuals undergoing reconstructive surgery involving blood vessels will be studied and the research will help resolve key questions on the mechanism and management of pain associated with reduced blood supply.
$29,000Associate Professor Michael Dragunow Department of Pharmacology, University of Auckland 1995 - December
This project will study brain chemical levels - neurotrophins - and neurotrophin receptors in post-mortem normal and Alzheimer's diseased human brains. Model system studies suggest a loss of some of these neurotrophins might lead to nerve cell death. One of these chemicals called nerve growth factor is presently undergoing trials to see if it will be useful in treating people with Alzheimer's disease. How these neurotrophins protect nerve cells from proteins (amyloids) that cause Alzheimer's will also be investigated using nerve cell lines grown in culture dishes. These studies will provide an important insight into the causes and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
$16,000Dr Jack Havill Intensive Therapy Unit, Waikato Hospital 1995 - June
Dr Havill and his associates are studying the long term psychosocial effects on individuals who have suffered a serious head injury. The grant will allow the inclusion of additional patients in this study.
$33,000Associate Professor Martin Pollock University of Otago 1995 - December
The results of the surgical treatment of lacerated limb nerves remain disappointing. These studies will explore the possibility of enhancing nerve regeneration by electrical stimulation. Lacerated nerves will be stimulated by a small implanted electrical device compared with untreated controls. If improved recovery of damaged nerves can be confirmed the aim would be to establish non-invasive electrical techniques suitable for human trials.