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COVID-19 has disrupted more than $11 million worth of neurological research

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and its variants, more than 92 of our funded research projects have been disrupted. This has meant experiments destroyed, schedules abandoned, and potential breakthroughs stalled.

Thanks to our supporters, we have been able to provide researchers with over $1.2 million worth of extensions, wage subsidies, and working expenses - making the Neurological Foundation the first, and for a while, the only, organisation to provide such support for medical research. But as the pandemic continues, so too does the need for this support – support that is becoming more and more expensive.

 This is why we need your help to Give the Green Light

We need to ensure that we can continue supporting our researchers to do what they do best: gaining a greater understanding of neurological conditions, developing new treatments and prevention methods, and finding cures.

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What the green light means to Kate

Kate Calder is a mum of a beautiful baby girl. She is a wife, a sister, a friend, a colleague, a netballer, and a daughter. Kate also has epilepsy. She is one of the 1 million Kiwis affected by a neurological condition, which has made COVID-19 and these past few years even more complicated.

"Having witnessed the effects neurological conditions have had on the people I love, and then being diagnosed with one myself, I have realised the incredible importance of research – but I won’t lie, it’s been difficult during these times. As well as trying to manage your condition, you’re also trying to manage a thousand other things: your family, your mental and physical wellbeing, your work, and so on. Having research stalled isn’t the best feeling because research is hope for me and people like me.”

This is why we need your help to Give the Green Light. Resuming research now will change lives, like Kate’s, in the future with new preventions, treatments, and cures. Right now, and most importantly though, research can give hope.

How the pandemic has affected brain tumour research

The sensitive collection of brain tumour cells for research into slowing their spread was stopped in its tracks by COVID-19. Dr Thomas Park had just started his Neurological Foundation funded study at the University of Auckland’s Centre for Brain Research when COVID-19 hit. His research was investigating methods to slow the spread of the most common fatal brain tumour, glioblastoma. 

When the first local COVID-19 case was announced in 2020, all tissue donations were immediately halted for over 12 months until more was understood about the novel virus. This greatly hampered our progress in the lab.

When tumour tissue donations were re-established, the researchers would spend months isolating cells and preparing to test drugs and treatments, only to be forced to abandon the cell-lines each time a lockdown was announced.

COVID-19 related interruptions have created great problems for our research. It also made it difficult to recruit graduate students. The project is heavily reliant on graduates as they drive the day-to-day research, and it takes some time to train them.

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Epilepsy. Alzheimer's Disease. Stroke. Dementia. Parkinson's Disease. Muscular Dystrophy. Brain Injury. Multiple Sclerosis. Neuropathy. Synesthesia. Tremor. Wallenberg's Syndrome. Motor Neurone Disease. Migraine. Hypoxia. Huntington's Disease. Dystonia. Cerebral Atrophy. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Autism Spectrum Disorder. Postpartum Anxiety. Fragile X Syndrome. Schizophrenia. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Ataxia. Glioblastoma. Microcephaly. Batten Disease. Depression. Anxiety. Tinnitus. Spinal Cord Injury. ADHD. Bell's Palsy. Binswanger's Disease. Cerebral Palsy. Dyslexia. Gerstmann's Syndrome. Hemifacial Spasm. Hughes Syndrome. Hydromyelia. Traumatic Brain Injury. Restless Leg Syndrome. Neurotoxicity. Myotonia. Iniencephaly. Gullain-Barre Syndrome. Mitochondrial Myopathy. Trigeminal neuralgia. Cervical Myelopathy. Scoliosis. Hypopituitarism. Sciatica. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Craniosynostosis. Tourette Syndrome. Wilson's Disease. Headache. Meningitis. Syringomyelia. Discitis. Fibromuscular dysplasia. Arthritis. Neurofibromatosis. Alpers Disease. Lesch Nyhan Syndrome. Prospoagnosia.