Neurological project funded

A three-year research collaboration involving tertiary institutions in Dunedin and Shanghai could open the door to earlier detection of Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.

The joint project between researchers from the University of Otago and the Shanghai Mental Health Centre has been awarded $NZ109,200 (RMB500,000) in funding by the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission.

The money will allow Prof Wang Jijun, from the Shanghai Mental Health Centre, and Associate Prof Liu Ping, from the University of Otago's anatomy department, to study the identification and verification of biomarkers for Alzheimer's and psychosis.

The project could have "significant impacts'' on early detection, diagnosis, prognosis and intervention in Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, Prof Liu said.

The funding was also the result of a memorandum of understanding signed between Enterprise Dunedin and the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission in 2016.



Early detection of Alzheimer's, a neurological condition, and major mental illness (biochemical causes in the main).

Will that lead to eventual routine screening for both, and will the procedures be medically invasive?