Research into the brain is looking for answers to some of the most pressing health challenges of the twenty-first century: ageing, mental health, neurological and drug and alcohol disorders. Collectively, these problems are a leading cause of disability in Australia.
Our research into neuroscience and behaviour spans the basic neurosciences, psychiatry, psychology, addiction, neurology and neurosurgery. Through our university-wide affiliations, our researchers are producing world-leading research into brain structure and function, ageing and dementia, mental illness and drugs and alcohol.
Our brain sciences research falls into three core themes that align with the critical phases of life:
- The Developing Brain: We focus on identifying and addressing the developmental origins of mental health and disorder in the young brain. This involves identifying early risk and protective factors for mental health disorders, finding pathways leading to complex behaviours, producing sustainable models for the integration of physical and mental healthcare, and reducing inequity and social isolation.
- Addiction, Mental Health and Wellbeing: Research that helps adults to be in control of their own actions is a key focus of our work. We are working to identify the causes of mental illness, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety. We also study the links between depression and suicide, developing innovative treatments for mental illness, and how to prevent violence in our communities. We have an interest in psychosis/schizophrenia and brain and spinal injury.
- Healthy Brain Ageing: Our focus is on understanding the factors that affect growth, development and maintenance of a healthy brain and mind in the population. This research encompasses neurodegenerative disorders, the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of dementia, falls, promoting healthy ageing, delirium and substance use in ageing populations.