Alzheimers New Zealand Charitable Trust
ALZHEIMER NEW ZEALAND CHARITABLE TRUST POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP – 2020/2021
It is with great pleasure that the Trustees introduce Dr Andrea Kwakowsky the recipient of the inaugural Alzheimers New Zealand Charitable Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellowship – 2020/2021.
Dr. Andrea Kwakowsky is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Brain Research, University of Auckland. Her research aims to understand the underlying pathology of Alzheimer’s disease and to determine whether manipulation of specific neuronal pathways could be part of an effective treatment.
Optogenetics (light stimulation) is one of the most exciting, “state of the art” recent new techniques in brain research; it uses light to turn specific neurons on and off. This powerful and novel technique enables Dr. Kwakowsky to modulate and correct abnormal neuronal activity in Alzheimers disease. The Alzheimer’s New Zealand Charitable Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship will help further research around Alzheimer’s disease using this exciting “cutting edge” technology of optogenetics. During the first few months of the fellowship, Dr. Kwakowsky’s team has established an optogenetic stimulation paradigm that can restore cognitive deficits in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. The focus of the future work will be on the examination of the underlying mechanisms of the beneficial behavioural outcomes of the optogenetic stimulation and refine the stimulation protocol to achieve the maximum possible therapeutic benefit.
The support provided by the Alzheimer New Zealand Charitable Trust will make a significant contribution to Dr. Kwakowsky’s overarching aims of finding treatments and providing support to people with Alzheimer’s disease.
JOGYOURMEMORY RUN - Organised by Millie & Georgia Higinbottom
“Just over one year ago our Nana Marg passed away nine years after she was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Our Nana Marg, was so giving and generous in her life. She was a very caring, selfless person and gave to community events. She was a great listener and always had time for anyone and everyone. However, we got to see Alzheimer’s brain disease slowly rob her of her memory, to the point where she didn’t even recognise her own reflection, let alone us. We saw all the pain our poppa and family went through and want to prevent others from going through the same thing. We really want to give back and honour our Nana Marg’s life by raising money to donate to the charity ‘Alzheimer’s New Zealand Charitable Trust” so hopefully in the near future a cure can be found for this horrible brain disease. “
In April Millie & Georgia ran along with 20 other people a total of 300km from Napier to Lake Ferry. As a group they ran 100 km per day for 3 days. Each runner covered over half a marathon per day! Every runner covered 75km all up.
The run was a huge success and raised $20,802.70 for the Alzheimers New Zealand Charitable Trust for a dementia research project in the memory of Nana Marg.
A big thank you to Millie & Georgia and all who supported this special event.
What is the Alzheimers New Zealand Charitable Trust?
The Alzheimers New Zealand Charitable Trust Inc. (Charities Act Registration number CC26344) was established in 2004 to receive and allocate grants for dementia research purposes.
What is Dementia?
Throughout the world someone is diagnosed with dementia every 3.2 seconds. Dementia is the name for a group of symptoms caused by diseases that affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. Millions of people throughout the world live with dementia. Millions more families and friends live with the daily challenges of dementia. People of all ages, ethnicity and intellectual ability can be affected by dementia and while it is more common in people aged over 65, younger people are also affected. Dementia is distressing and progressive and its effects are far reaching.