The Neurological Foundation announces December 2016 Grant Round Recipients

Thursday, 15 December, 2016


Nearly $1.4 million committed to neurological research across New Zealand

The Neurological Foundation is pleased to announce that funding of $1,382,529 for neurological research projects, two postgraduate scholarships, three postdoctoral fellowships, and two summer studentships has been approved in its December 2016 grant round. This brings the total research funding allocated by the Foundation in 2016 to $2,723,131. The Neurological Foundation is the primary non-government funder of neurological research in New Zealand, and also sponsors the Neurological Foundation Douglas Human Brain Bank and the Neurological Foundation Chair of Clinical Neurology research programme.

Neurological Foundation Executive Director Max Ritchie says “This grant round’s recipients demonstrate the highly innovative thinking that enables New Zealand to remain at the leading edge of research into the understanding, prevention and treatment of neurological disorders. Furthermore, this innovation provides real hope for the one in five New Zealanders across all age groups who will be diagnosed with a brain disorder in their lifetime.”

The December grants allocated include the funding of the following projects:

Learning and memory:

·         The role of the brain’s synaptic networks in controlling plasticity and memory

·         The role of a molecular sugar in brain development

Sleep: Investigating the role of a hormone in sleep dysregulation

Brain cancer:

·         How do melanoma cancer cells migrate into the brain and survive by avoiding our defensive immune system?

·         Investigating a target for treatment of aggressive brain tumours

Parkinson’s disease:

·         Investigating the potential improvement of the effectiveness of a Parkinson’s disease drug

·         Investigating the individualised risk score for future dementia in Parkinson’s disease patients by measuring the thickness of the brain’s cortical mantle

Neurodevelopmental disorders:

·         Can increased maternal dietary zinc prevent the development of autism-associated behaviours?

·         A pilot study to test a training intervention paradigm for cognitive improvements in children with neurodevelopmental disorders   


·         Recovery of movement and sensation after stroke – the 70% recovery rule

·         Investigating a specific pathway in the brain involved in movement recovery after stroke

Multiple sclerosis: Investigating new drug compounds for the treatment of multiple sclerosis in two pre-clinical models

Click here to see the awarded grant details