New Zealand’s first brain rehabilitation and research clinic will be launched by the Associate Minister of Health, the Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, at The University of Auckland’s Tamaki Innovation Campus.
The Brain Recovery Clinic is the initiative of the University’s Centre for Brain Research. Initially, the clinic will focus on stroke and traumatic brain injury and it is envisaged that over time the service and research of the clinic will expand into Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders.
Research into recovery and the development of new therapies and treatment protocols will form a critical part of the service. The clinic will enhance neurological care and link laboratory-based research directly with the community.
Professor Alan Barber, Head of the Stroke Service at Auckland City Hospital and a Director of the Centre for Brain Research says: “There are 45,000 stroke survivors in New Zealand. Until now, there have been few services available for people living with the ongoing effects of stroke after they have been discharged from the hospital system. We aim to change that.”
“The clinic will provide assessments to ensure that everything is being done to reduce the risk of someone having another stroke. In addition, ‘check-up’ appointments will mean that patients can be referred to complementary clinics for further rehabilitation such as speech language or exercise therapy. Collaborations with other medical services mean that patients can be referred to their GPs or District Health Boards for a complete care service.”
Dr Cathy Stinear, Deputy Director of the Brain Recovery Clinic, says: “The clinic is great for patients as it brings together so many experts under one roof. At the same time, it’s great for clinical researchers as it allows us to collaborate and share ideas. Ultimately that means better care for people with brain disease.”
The Brain Recovery Clinic forms part of The University of Auckland Clinics and will officially open to patients on Wednesday 27 April. Appointments will require a referral from a GP, health professional or via the Stroke Foundation. Patients may also have the option to take part in studies looking at new treatments or rehabilitation therapies that are being developed and trialled by researchers at The University of Auckland.