Help us return people to their normal life trajectories

Let me introduce you to Tracey Jones. Tracey is a delightful friend of NeuRA who participates in sewing classes, resides at home with her elderly parents and lives with schizophrenia. She had her first visual hallucination as a teenager, followed by years of misdiagnosis, depression, paranoia and confusion. Frankly, life today is vastly different from what she’d dreamt it would be.

‘People take for granted that they can do whatever they like in life, but schizophrenia destroys your goals – like mine of working with horses,’ she says in her story which you can read by clicking here.

Living with schizophrenia is very difficult. Individuals will experience distortions of reality and an altered sense of self. Many will fail to sustain the most basic of friendships, will rarely marry and in 80% of cases, won’t work in full time employment.

Simply, this is not fair.

We must do better, and thanks to you, we are.

Will you support research that aims to return people to their normal life trajectories? Will you help find new treatments free of the awful side effects that many of today’s medication have? Click on Read the full storbelow to learn more about NeuRA’s current research projects, and how you can help.

Each time you give, another piece of the schizophrenia puzzle will be solved and, with your help, we can speed up discoveries and breakthroughs.

Thank you in advance.

We don’t think it at the time, but our teenage years are great.

Yes, we all hated acne, fought with our parents, and worried about what our friends thought of us. However it was also a time when we thought about the future… dreaming about who (or if) we’d marry, where we’d live and what type of work we’d do.

We don’t think it at the time, but the decisions we make and opportunities afforded to us in our teenage years have an enormous impact on our futures.

It’s also during this time that for thousands of Australians, schizophrenia first strikes.

For these people, their dreams then change.

Two very different paths

As I walk through the laboratories your gifts help make possible, I’m inspired by the passion that young professionals have for this work. Like you, they want schizophrenia conquered. These young men and women have their whole life ahead of them, and every day bring to NeuRA an enthusiasm that is contagious. They contribute with new and fresh ideas, making for a healthy environment to learn and discover.

Let me introduce you to Tracey Jones. Tracey is a delightful friend of NeuRA who participates in sewing classes, resides at homes with her elderly parents and lives with schizophrenia. She had her first visual hallucination as a teenager, followed by years of misdiagnosis, depression, paranoia and confusion. Frankly, life today is vastly different from what she’d dreamt it would be.

‘People take for granted that they can do whatever they like in life, but schizophrenia destroys your goals – like mine of working with horses,’ she says in her story included with this pack.

This really gets to the heart of what it’s like living with schizophrenia. Whilst our young researchers will go on to live full lives of almost limitless possibilities – contributing to future breakthroughs and discoveries – people with schizophrenia will live very differently. Not only will they experience distortions of reality and an altered sense of self, many will fail to sustain the most basic of friendships, will rarely marry and in 80% of cases, won’t work in full time employment.

Simply, this is not fair.

We must do better, and thanks to you, we are.

If you or someone you love takes medication to help reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia, you’ll know its side effects… weight gain, drowsiness, uncontrolled muscle movements and diabetes are just a few. These medications do not help people return to their normal life trajectories and frankly, their effectiveness hasn’t improved in many years.

They also don’t work for nearly 30% of all people.

There is a desperate need to find new treatments that do not cause such devastating side effects and get more to the root of the problem. For this, we need research into alternative biological pathways and to conduct clinical trials in not only in the research setting, but also the real world. Here at NeuRA, we are busy on all these fronts.

Just one of the exciting projects that you can support.

We have discovered that schizophrenia can be triggered through increased inflammation. Further, when a person’s immune system produces excess antibodies that fight against their own brain proteins, schizophrenia can result. The project aims to understand how immune factors and antibodies can gain access to the brain and how inflammation changes the selective blood brain barrier in schizophrenia. We have discovered that antibodies normally gain entry into the brain even in the healthy human brain, and in this project, we will determine if people with schizophrenia have an altered amount of antibodies in their brains.  Additionally, we will test whether the brain’s endothelial cells, that form the blood brain barrier, can be used to test potential new treatments that could block the damaging effects of heightened immune factors on the brain’s blood vessels.

At NeuRA, we have some of the best schizophrenia researchers in the world, such as Prof Cyndi Shannon Weickert and her team, working to cure this dreadful disease.

Will you help me and Prof Shannon Weickert eradicate schizophrenia for good?

You can help.

Please will you give a gift that will support research that aims to return people to their normal life trajectories? Will you help find new treatments free of the awful side effects?

Each time you give, another piece of the schizophrenia puzzle will be solved and, with your help, we can speed up discoveries and breakthroughs.

Thank you in advance.

Helpful Resources