NCNED Latest Updates and Publications
January 9, 2017
The NCNED is back from the holiday break and ready to welcome in the new year with new studies commencing, and many more to continue throughout 2017.
The NCNED Team
December 16, 2016
NCNED would like to send a sincere thank you to all participants, supporters and those who have made personal contributions to NCNED. We wish you and your families all the best for this festive season. We will return on January 9 and keep you updated regularly throughout 2017.
Sonya, Don and the NCNED Team
December 1, 2016
Major improvement in the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is expected following the award of $4m in funding to one of Australia’s foremost authorities on the condition.
Professors Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik and Don Staines and Dr Samantha Johnston from the National Centre For Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases (NCNED) at Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University were awarded the funding from the Stafford Fox Medical Research Foundation as part of a bid to accelerate the diagnosis of CFS and the discovery of appropriate treatments.
CFS, also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), is a highly debilitating disorder characterised by profound fatigue, muscle and joint pain, cerebral symptoms of impaired memory and concentration, impaired cardiovascular function, gut disorder and sensory dysfunction such as noise intolerance and balance disturbance.
Many cases can continue for months or years. It is believed around 200,000 Australians are affected. The prevalence rate of CFS/ME worldwide is estimated around 1.2 per cent.
“This grant is the largest amount ever awarded for CFS research,” says Professor Staines. The funding from the Stafford Fox Medical Research Foundation will allow Griffith to develop and deliver the first-of-its-kind diagnostic blood test which uses novel technologies to identify genetic markers for CFS.
“Importantly we are now able to develop a laboratory test which confirms the diagnosis in patients with a clinically compatible illness.
“The development of this test will not only provide legitimacy to patients’ illness, but will also mean that health professionals such as GPs and specialists can provide a faster diagnosis for each patient. This will reduce the burden on our healthcare system which spends around $500m on inappropriate healthcare for CFS each year.”
“The diagnostic test will likely be available to the medical community within the near future as we continue to study larger groups of CFS patients. Importantly this funding will also enable researchers at NCNED to investigate possible pharmacological treatments,” says Professor Marshall-Gradisnik.
“The Stafford Fox Medical Research Foundation grant will also enable NCNED researchers to further explore the proven receptor dysfunction in this condition using world-first technology.
“The funding will further enhance our scientific research which demonstrates functional changes in certain cell receptors, which are associated with the pathology of CFS.”
The funding award is the second round of funding from the Stafford Fox Medical Research Foundation which previously provided $2.5m to these researchers to investigate CFS and develop the diagnostic test.
Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor and Pro Vice Chancellor of Research, Professor Ned Pankhurst says this outstanding achievement by NCNED researchers at Griffith is a landmark contribution to CFS research worldwide.
“The concentration of research talent at NCNED has resulted in world-first scientific discoveries that underpin the pathology of this illness, enabling further advancements in delivering a diagnostic test and possible treatments in the near future.”
The NCNED team is presenting research at this week’s Gold Coast Health and Medical Research Conference 2016 (1-2 December 2016). The Conference has the theme of Translating research for the prevention of chronic disease.
Our mission is to perform world class biomedical research that will contribute to the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) through the identification of physiological mechanisms and biomarkers.
§ To be recognised for world-class clinical and population based health and medical research.
§ To collaborate with local, national and international research institutes and researchers.
§ To translate research into preventative medicine, social and clinical care and public health outcomes.
§ To create sustained improvements in health and health care for individuals with CFS/ME.
Currently Recruiting for Studies
NCNED is actively recruiting participants for a number of studies. The first study of the year will involve the investigation of parts of the digestive tract of people with CFS and will begin in March. We are trying to find potential participants who:
1. Have been diagnosed with CFS/ME
2. Have previously undergone an intestinal biopsy procedure at the Gold Coast University Hospital.
If eligible, participants would be asked to read over the Participant Information Sheet and decide whether to consent to the use of their tissue samples for this study.
Please note we do not require any participants to undergo new biopsies for use in this study.
Multiple studies will be undertaken throughout the year. We will be contacting past participants to invite them to continue their involvement and we also welcome new participants. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming involved or if you would like more information, please contact us on email@example.com.
Studies for 2015 are currently planned to consist of two time periods and locations. The first is planned to commence mid-year and will be conducted in the areas between Tweed Heads and Brisbane. The second is aimed to start in October and be located in Sydney and Melbourne.
Any volunteers would be greatly appreciated. If you or someone you know match the above criteria (both points 1 and 2), please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or (07) 5678 9283.