Additional Funding for
MSRA Brain Bank
On 25 January 2012 the NSW Government announced a $500,000 grant for the MSRA Brain Bank,
which will allow researchers to utilise advanced technologies and directly
target new treatments.
Based at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Research Institute,
this dedicated facility has already made significant contributions to MS
research since it was established in 2007, when the Trish Foundation underwrote
and provided the initial funding for the Brain Bank.
In line with the NSW Government’s record commitment to medical research,
the funding will allow the Brain Bank to continue collecting MS brain tissue
from donated brains.
This funding will help the Brain Bank in various stages of the process -
from encouraging people with MS to consider pledging their brain tissue,
retrieving the tissue when they die, classifying the brain for disease level,
and lastly, to facilitate distribution of tissue to labs across Australia for
individual research projects.
The new funding will especially bolster the classification stage. This
is crucial, as it determines where the active MS lesions are located in the
brain, providing the acute MS tissue that is vital for new discoveries.
The MSRA Brain Bank has approximately 1600 people who have pledged their
brains and spinal cords. A collection of
30 brains has been received which are made available to researchers.
“Human tissue provides
researchers with an invaluable tool with which to explore the cause of MS. The
neuropathological interrogation of acute MS tissue has already provided impetus
for a vital change in the direction of MS research,” said Dr Michael Barnett, Director
of the Brain Bank and Senior Lecturer in Neurology at University of Sydney.
“This new grant will hasten the translation towards solving this
disease, as there is no animal model that faithfully replicates the clinical or
pathological features of MS. The importance of this resource cannot be