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Major health issues tackled by Dunedin researchers

Major health issues tackled by Dunedin researchers

A number of major health issues affecting New Zealanders will be tackled by
Dunedin researchers following the latest funding round results announced by the
Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) today.

The HRC is the principal Government agency responsible for funding health
research in New Zealand.

Professor Jim Mann from the University of Otago will head a study focused on
reintroducing ‘lifestyle therapy’ for type 2 diabetes sufferers. Drugs to lower high blood glucose are now widely prescribed and the importance of lifestyle may have been overlooked as a result. This research project aims to establish whether appropriate diet and exercise, on top of existing treatment, has an additional positive impact on type 2 diabetes sufferers.

A research project geared at maintaining long term weight loss will seek to address New Zealand’s obesity epidemic. Dr Kirsten McAuley from the University of Otago heads the project, which will compare different diets and approaches to peer group support.

Associate Professor David Bilkey from the University of Otago is researching how
schizophrenia can cause individuals to have problems with constructing,
maintaining, and processing the context of a situation. By gaining a better
understanding of changes in the brain which underlie this dysfunction, the research could lead to improved targeting of therapeutic interventions.

Further biomedical research into Parkinson’s disease will be led by Associate
Professor Brian Hyland at the University of Otago.


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