Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank
The creation of Australia’s largest ‘Brain Bank’ is a world first for schizophrenia research and is expected to play a crucial role in the international search for a schizophrenia cure.
Schizophrenia is a complex brain disorder characterised by a breakdown of thinking and emotions, and a loss of contact with reality. In Australia, approximately 1 in 100 people will develop schizophrenia during their lifetime. As with most mental health illnesses and disorders, schizophrenia has a long history of neglect, misinformation and stigmatisation. Even today, the illness does not receive the levels of public attention and research funding warranted by the numbers of individuals and families it affects.
As Australia’s only national medical research institute solely dedicated to discovering the ways to prevent and cure schizophrenia, in 2007 the Schizophrenia Research Institute (SRI) sought to dramatically advance its understanding of the disorder by staging a nationwide program to create a schizophrenia database, or ‘Brain Bank’.
In July 2001 in support of this pioneering initiative, the Pratt Foundation announced a donation of $1.4 million to fund the launch of the Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank (ASRB) - the biggest schizophrenia research database of its type in the world.