App to have positive impact
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.