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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Winter 2022

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  • Bulletin
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  • Shapland
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  • Neurological
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Farewell Sue Shapland | Pain and pain management series: Part 5 | MSWA's Employment Support Service | Tips for staying motivated over winter

MEMBER & CLIENT SERVICES

MEMBER & CLIENT SERVICES NICOLA WASHINGTON CHIEF CLIENT OPERATIONS OFFICER Welcome to the winter edition of our Member & Client Services Bulletin. We have certainly been feeling the colder weather. As I take a breath to reflect on what has been a roller coaster year with many challenges being thrown at all of us, including our fight through COVID-19, I can’t help feeling so proud of the people that work here at MSWA. The ongoing ability to pivot and change through the unknown and still maintain a clear focus on our service delivery is, quite frankly, remarkable. Our staff have faced some incredible challenges and have really pulled through by supporting each other as a team. I want to thank them for their incredible work and support for each other during this period. I am excited about the next horizon and getting to work on how we can improve on our delivery of services. We will be starting a deeper dive discovery into what you, our Clients, need and what you want, and how we can improve on our service delivery to you during different stages of your journey. This will be exciting work to gain a much clearer insight into what we do for you in the future and provide a clear strategy on what we need to execute. I look forward to starting this work and will keep you across how we proceed. On page 11 you will find an article from Geoff Hutchinson on the importance of NDIS plan utilisation. Please take the time to review, it is important to understand what happens to your unused funds. It will be interesting to see what changes we will see to the NDIS under a Labor Government. Watch this space and let’s hope we see some of the issues addressed and action in the right direction. On page 32 is the final instalment in our Pain and Pain Management series. This time the focus is on medication. Thank you to Bronwyn Innes for the series of articles she has contributed over the past year. Our Client Forum was held on 5 July and we had a great turnout. As always, it was fantastic to hear from our internal and external experts about the latest in research and technology and how this is benefiting people living with a neurological condition. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to say a fond farewell to Sue Shapland and Andrea Taylor. As you will know, both Andrea and Sue have been with MSWA for nearly 20 years and have contributed amazingly to the success of the organisation. The growth in services and the ability to provide more supports to people with neurological conditions is only possible with dedicated people like Sue and Andrea and they can be truly proud of what they have achieved. Au revoir for now Sue and Andrea. As always, your feedback is important to us so if you have anything you would like to share please contact us on feedback@mswa.org.au or call 6454 3173. Stay safe. MSWA Client Forum 2022 6

RESEARCH RESEARCH IN FOCUS: PROFESSOR BRUNO MELONI ON HIS STROKE RESEARCH MSWA is proud to be funding this important West Australian research that will potentially provide the first effective treatment to minimise the damage that occurs in the early phases of stroke. We went straight to Professor Bruno Meloni, who heads Stroke Laboratory Research at the Perron Institute, and Department of Neurosurgery, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) and spoke with him about his journey and research so far. “My passion for research started in 1985 after obtaining a Research Assistant position in a parasitology laboratory in the Veterinary School at Murdoch University. I was hooked from day one, so much so that I completed an Honours degree, PhD and a post-doctoral study with the team at Murdoch University. “In 1996, I was successful in obtaining a second post-doctoral position within the Department of Neurosurgery at SCGH, with the objective to establish a research laboratory with neuroprotection as its central theme, which I did with the head of Stroke Research, Clinical Professor Neville Knuckey. The laboratory was, and still is, based at the Perron Institute. “Over the next 25 years, my research centred on understanding the mechanisms involved in brain injury after stroke and the identification of potential neuroprotective targets to aid the development of new therapies to reduce injury. Through this research our laboratory identified a novel class of neuroprotective peptides known as cationic arginine-rich peptides (CARPs), which have great potential to be developed into therapeutics to minimise brain injury after stroke and related conditions, as well as chronic neurodegenerative disorders. “Currently, my focus is to progress the application of a CARP developed in my laboratory, known as R18, as a therapeutic to limit the brain injury that occurs in stroke. Stroke is the current leading and growing cause of acquired neurological disability and second leading cause of death worldwide. Each year, approximately 56,000 Australians will suffer new or recurrent strokes. To make matters worse, at present there are no clinically available neuroprotective drugs to minimise brain injury after stroke. “To help progress the development of R18 as a neuroprotective therapeutic, a spin-off company from UWA and Perron Institute was established. The company, Argenica Therapeutics, listed on the ASX in June 2021, and renamed R18, ARG-007. “To date both in vitro and in vivo (preclinical) safety and toxicity assessments of ARG-007 have been encouraging, and part of these studies have been supported by MSWA’s funding commitment to West Australian research. It is hoped a Phase 1 human safety study will commence later in the year. Planning is also under way for a Phase 2 study in stroke patients. It is anticipated that ARG-007 therapy could be given to stroke patients by ambulance paramedics before reaching hospital, as early intervention provides the best opportunity to minimise brain tissue damage, and allow more patients to benefit from clot dissolving treatments or removal of the clot via a catheter. Importantly, early intervention with ARG-007 could be particularly beneficial for people in rural and remote areas before transportation to a metropolitan hospital. “I am also optimistic that ARG-007, due to its unique and multiple neuroprotective mechanisms of action, has promise as a neuroprotective therapeutic for other acute disorders such as traumatic brain injury, and chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In the meantime, the demonstration that ARG-007 can improve patient outcomes after stroke will be a career defining achievement and represent a bench to clinic research story that started 37 years ago in a parasitology laboratory.” To find out more about the projects MSWA is funding, head to mswa.org.au/news-research/ commitment-to-research 7