SpinalCure donates $1.2m to NeuRA to research neurostimulation treatments for spinal cord injury

SpinalCure donates $1.2m to NeuRA to research neurostimulation treatments for spinal cord injury

26 November 2019

SpinalCure Australia (SpinalCure) and Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) are delighted to announce their collaboration to further develop neurostimulation treatments for people with spinal cord injury.

Once thought an impossible dream, recent breakthroughs have shown that a cure for spinal cord injury is no longer a matter of if, but a matter of when. SpinalCure has donated $1.2 million to the NeuRA research program to date and continues to fundraise to support the acceleration of treatments to Australians.

Of all promising avenues of research, neurostimulation has delivered the most compelling results to date — returning significant feeling and function to people who have been paralysed for many years.

The effects of a spinal cord injury go far beyond the loss of the ability to walk. The injured are robbed of their independence and dignity because normal functions, such as bladder and bowel control, sexual function and cardiovascular stability, can be profoundly affected.  

Participants in early neurostimulation research overseas have reported improvements in all these areas. In recently published research some have also regained the ability to stand and take steps.

With the help of SpinalCure, NeuRA is refurbishing space to establish a major new Spinal Cord Injury Research Centre to address new opportunities for those living with spinal injury.  The research will be led by Professor Simon Gandevia (FAA FAHMS FRACP) and by Professor Jane Butler (PhD) who together have a long history of distinguished work in human neurophysiology and spinal injury. 

“SpinalCure has been campaigning to bring neurostimulation research to Australia for several years and we are delighted to be working with one of the world’s most respected movement and spinal injury teams,” SpinalCure CEO, Duncan Wallace said.

“Spinal injury is a devastating condition and unlike many other health conditions, for those injured there is no pill, treatment or lifestyle change that can mitigate its effects — effectively research is their only hope. We believe, with sufficient funding, neurostimulation treatments could be made available to Australians in the relatively near future,” Mr Wallace said. 

Initial human clinical research has already commenced at NeuRA and the scientists will continue to develop and refine these treatments.

“This new collaboration with SpinalCure has the potential to develop treatments that could greatly improve people’s abilities, general health and outlook,” said Professor Peter Schofield AO, CEO at NeuRA. 

“Additional research and funding will help us unlock the secrets of how we can develop new treatments to achieve rehabilitation in people living with spinal cord injury and improve their quality of life,” he said.