Centre for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine

Smiling man

Turning the impossible into the inspirational for spinal cord injuries; Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s

Every day someone in Australia is told they will never walk again. In one moment a life is changed forever.

Meanwhile, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases are debilitating conditions of the brain that rob a person of their memories, movement, and quality of life. Everyone over 65 is at risk.

"Alzheimer’s and dementia; Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injuries: what if these conditions were not permanent?"

And it can happen to anyone. Spinal cord injuries, diseases of the brain and disorders of the mind don't discriminate.

These conditions are not just devastating for the individual involved, their effects reach much further, touching family, friends, community, and the world.

But it doesn't have to be like this. What if these conditions were not permanent?

At The Centre for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Technology Sydney, we're dedicated to helping those suffering from the debilitating conditions of the brain, mind and spinal cord.

Led by Professor Bryce Vissel, the Centre is delivering results previously never thought possible. By bringing the very best minds from around the world, we can deliver breakthrough techniques and approaches to find treatments and even cures for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, paralysis and disorders of the mind and brain.

A new hope: Spinal Cord Injury

One area of the Centre's research focuses on reversing the paralysing effects of spinal cord injuries that devastate the lives of countless Australians and their families.

The Centre is dedicated to bringing the life-changing work of pioneering UCLA-based scientist Dr Reggie Edgerton to Australia. Professor Edgerton's groundbreaking research is already making an impact, and has seen more than twenty paralysed people regain the ability to move limbs for the first time after chronic spinal cord injury through novel new techniques.

Already, six people with severe spinal cord injuries have regained the use of their hands and fingers through a non-invasive spinal stimulation technique, enabling patients to turn doorknobs and open bottles for the first time since sustaining their injuries.

"Every day in Australia another person is paralysed from a spinal injury due to a vehicle accident, sporting injury or simple fall," Professor Vissel said. "Promising therapies such as Professor Edgerton's will finally be tested with people here who so desperately need them, bringing this comprehensive scientific and clinical research program outside the US for the first time."

These breakthroughs follow Professor Edgerton's other unprecedented discoveries showing that it is possible to recover lost bladder, bowel, and sexual function that can be life-threatening after a spinal cord injury.

The current scientific data and the messages we constantly receive from patients and carers provide a compelling insight into how our technology and science can and will change lives.

There has already been flood of interest and applications to be part of this Centre’s research from adults and parents of young children with spinal cord injury – a testament to the urgent need for change in this space.

With your support, we can taking these discoveries to the next stage, and transform the everyday quality of life for people with spinal cord injury.

Meet the Centre's Director: Professor Bryce Vissel

Professor Bryce VisselProfessor Bryce Vissel is respected around the world as a leading neurological scientist and patient activist. Receiving his PhD in Medical Genetics from the University of Melbourne in 1991, Professor Vissel was awarded the National Health and Medical Research Council fellowship and CJ Martin Fellowship to pursue neuroscience research at Salk Institute in San Diego.

During his 10 years at Salk Institute, and his time at the Garvan Institute, Professor Vissel has been instrumental in a number of seminal studies for neurological diseases highlighting how the impossible, could very well be possible.

Professor Vissel is also Chair of the Advisory Board of Cellmid Ltd, a member of the Board of Parkinson's NSW, and scientific advisor to Alzheimer's Australia and SpinalCure Australia.

Where Cures Begin: Reviving Reasons to Hope

Imagine a world where we can cure Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Imagine a world where people with a spinal cord injury can make a complete recovery.

New research into spinal cord injury and neurodegeneration is offering real hope of recovery for people with conditions long thought incurable.

UTSpeaks: Reviving Reasons to Hope

New research into spinal cord injury and neurodegeneration is offering real hope of recovery for people with conditions long thought incurable.


In the news: