Volunteer organisation Lions International has donated US$48,000 to the Nerve Research Foundation of the University of Sydney.
The cheque, presented at the Sydney Executive Business Lions Club meeting on 29 September, will enable researchers at the Neuroinflammation Group of the Brain and Mind Research Institute to purchase a plate reader.
The reader can detect an array of antibodies in blood taken from patients with inflammatory diseases of the nervous system, including neuropathies and multiple sclerosis, on which the Neuroinflammation group focuses.
“We have identified novel autoantibodies—antibodies that attack the body’s own nervous system—in patients with particular neuropathies and multiple sclerosis which may contribute to their disease,” said Emily Mathey, a postdoctoral researcher within the group.
“Detecting the brain and nervous system’s responses to these antibodies is crucial to understanding disease mechanisms, and also to provide more individual diagnoses of patients with such neurological disease,” she added.
Patricia Armati, University of Sydney professor, said, “Donations such as this have enabled the Nerve Research Foundation to support such research at the university for more than 25 years. This has resulted in the development of new therapies for these conditions which have greatly improved the quality of life for many patients with such disorders.”