App to have pos­i­tive im­pact

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By DENISE S CAHILL

HUNT­ING­TON’S WA will be able to share its re­cent ground­break­ing re­search with the rest of the world via an app af­ter re­ceiv­ing a $100,000 grant from Im­pact100 WA re­cently.

The Shen­ton Park-based non­profit group first col­lab­o­rated with ECU in 2012 for a pi­lot project, Hunt­ing­ton’s En­vi­ron­men­tal Re­search Op­ti­mi­sa­tion Scheme (HEROs).

ECU re­searcher Travis Cruick­shank, who was ap­proached to join the project when he was still study­ing, said the first study com­pleted by 22 peo­ple who had symp­toms of Hunt­ing­ton’s found in­creases in brain vol­ume in ar­eas that nor­mally de­gen­er­ated.

Dr Cruick­shank said re­sults from the sec­ond study that in­volved 36 peo­ple who car­ried the Hunt­ing­ton’s gene were still be­ing ex­am­ined but there were sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments in cog­ni­tive func­tion.

“The cog­ni­tive im­prove­ments mean their mem­o­ries were bet­ter and they were bet­ter at prob­lem solv­ing,” the Wem­b­ley res­i­dent said.

“The app will al­low us to put pro­grams out there that are cost­ef­fec­tive.”

Hunt­ing­ton’s WA ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor Rae Wal­ter, of City Beach, said back­ground work had al­ready started on the app but it would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the Im­pact100 grant.

“The peo­ple who have par­tic­i­pated in the pre­vi­ous re­search are work­ing with us to do the pro­gram in their own en­vi­ron­ment and we’re work­ing with them on the changes,” Ms Wal­ter said.

“Our day cen­tre in Beech­boro changed its pro­grams af­ter the first re­search re­sults came through.

“When you go to the cen­tre now peo­ple are highly en­gaged.”

Sen­so­rium Theatre also re­ceived a $100,000 from Im­pact100 and has plans to kick-start its Sen­sory Sto­ry­time pro­gram.

Bark­ing Gecko Theatre Com­pany, Birdlife WA and Teach Learn Grow re­ceived $10,000 each.

Im­pact100 WA started in 2012 and in­volves at least 100 mem­bers each do­nat­ing $1000 a year.

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