Australia now houses the world’s only research institute dedicated to dealing with broken brains.

Untreated brain disorders – be they drug addiction, ADHD, memory loss or brain injury – account for 13 per cent of the world’s global health burden.

The Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences (MICCN) – launched this week – is set to focus on four key areas that are critical to the wellbeing of Australians, yet are having a greater impact on the health (and health budget) of the nation:

  • Addiction – to drugs, gambling, alcohol and OCD
  • Attention – such as in children with learning difficulties such as Autism
  • Memory – such as age related changes in memory, and recovery from brain injury such as stroke
  • Sleep – such as sleep related occupation risk (drowsy driving/shift work), insomnia etc

The MICCN was kicked-off with a $5.25 million gift from the David Winston Turner Endowment Trust, to support ongoing research into the area of addiction.

The centre’s director, Professor Kim Cornish, says the MICCN will combine cutting-edge research with experts from a broad range of disciplines and faculties.

It will also working with clinical and industry partners.

“The MICCN will use innovative approaches to understand how the brain works. More importantly our aim is to take those discoveries to the clinic and workplace – eventually to become used in industry and community,” she said.

“The human brain contains tens of billions of cells, and they last from conception to death. Understanding how they work both when they operate well and poorly is the key to improving the health of many Australians.”