Mind and Brain
Depression represents the highest non-fatal disease burden in Australia, and is the leading cause of disability.
It’s a major cause of suicide, which is the third highest fatal disease burden in Australian men.
It’s anticipated that by 2020 depression will be the second leading contributor to the global burden of disease.
Spotlight on mental health
Our Mind & Brain team focus on:
- depression, and the outcomes of antidepressant treatment
- how depression links to metabolic syndromes and obesity
- decreasing mental illness by building wellbeing and resilience in the community
- molecular imaging of the spinal cord to advance diagnosis and prognosis of spinal cord injuries
Re-shaping the future of depression
Current treatment for depression can be a case of 'trial and error'. A patient tries an antidepressant medication, and with their doctor they assess if the treatment is working. If it doesn't work, a new medication is trialed. This process can take months, and a number of different medications before the right one is found. This can cause considerable distress for patients struggling with depression. Using genome sequencing technology, our researchers aim to match gene variants with different types of depression, to create a clear understanding of which antidepressant medication will suit a patient best.
Fostering wellbeing for the entire community
Our Mind & Brain theme includes the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre. The Centre is focused on delivering resilience training to the broader community, with the goal of building South Australia as the State of Wellbeing. Using positive psychology as its basis, the Wellbeing and Resilience team aim to help our community move towards positive mental health with strong skills around resilience.
Project Discovery - spinal cord injury research
The Neil Sachse Centre for Spinal Cord Research also sits within our Mind and Brain theme. The Centre is undertaking work on ‘Project Discovery’ - a project that will utilise imaging of the spine through positron emission tomography (PET), which will revolutionise spinal cord injury diagnosis, treatment and help progress research in this area.