Stroke, MND, Epilepsy

Stroke, MND, Epilepsy

Growing mini-brains to test epilepsy drugs; working with paramedics to identify stroke victims quickly, allowing access to time-sensitive treatments; and evaluating a ‘pinch test’ for motor neurone disease are just some of the incredible research projects being undertaken by Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) Neurologists.

RBWH Foundation has been funding research across all three main branches of RBWH Neurology – epilepsy, stroke and motor neurone disease (MND) – since our creation in 1985.

RBWH Neurology is renowned as a national leader in in MND research and contains the State’s only Huntington’s Disease and Friedreich’s Ataxia services.


RBWH is home to one of Queensland’s largest acute stroke units, treating about 500 patients each year. The unit has a strong culture of research and Director of Neurology, Associate Professor Andrew Wong, believes the unit is Queensland’s best.

“Many of the clinical trials that the RBWH Acute Stroke Unit participates in are on an international scale,” said Dr Wong.

“As one of the Australian enrolling sites, that means RBWH is part of a global effort to answer research questions.”


Motor Neurone Disease is a devastating disease without an effective therapy where muscle weakness starts in one region and rapidly spreads to involve muscles of speech and swallow, upper and lower limbs with death from involvement of breathing muscles, usually within 2-3 years of diagnosis.

There is a desperate need for useful biomarkers of disease progression and the RBWH team has led with neurophysiological, imaging, blood and biomarker studies. RBWH is currently involved in six major clinical national and international Clinical Trials.


The RBWH Comprehensive Epilepsy Program team views research as a key priority for improving the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. The Program also runs Queensland’s only Women and Epilepsy clinic, with a focus on assisting women through pregnancy.

Areas of research that require ongoing support include:

  • Genetics and Epilepsy: Studies to improve our understanding of the cause of epilepsy and how to better treat epilepsy.
  • Evaluation of the effects of epilepsy and its treatment on pregnancy and fetal outcomes.
  • Neuroimaging of epilepsy: Studies on the structure and function of the brain in disease and health.
  • Neuropsychology of Epilepsy: Studies of cognitive, emotional and psychosocial factors relevant to the diagnosis and management of epilepsy.

“Research leads to new treatments, and new treatments mean better care and better patient outcomes,” said Dr Wong.

For RBWH Giving Day, your donation will be doubled, doubling your impact. All donations will go towards RBWH priorities to advance patient care and life-saving research.

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