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Developing dementia and motor neuron disease treatments

Diseases such as those that cause dementia and motor neuron disease are caused by degeneration and death of nerve cells in the brain that are important for cognitive function and movement. Nerve cells have conserved mechanisms for self-destruction which are needed to maintain a functioning nervous system. But could some of these mechanisms be overactivated in disease or do nerve cells break down simply because their structure becomes weakened?

In 2019, researchers at the Wicking Dementia Centre received funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council ($597,651) and from Fight MND ($997,046) to unravel these questions in order to seek new drug targets to protect nerve cells and prevent them from degenerating.