22 November 2022

The NSW Government is investing $4 million over four years to support research projects focused on ways to better understand schizophrenia and improve the lives of those who live with it.

Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said schizophrenia is a complex mental health condition which affects around 81,000 people in NSW.

"The NSW Government is committed to funding innovative projects that seek to find new and better ways to support people with schizophrenia and help them live healthier and more productive lives," Mrs Taylor said.

"Schizophrenia is a condition that can be managed through therapies and other treatments, but it can take time to ensure it is right for the individual.

"That is why we are funding three new projects that will not only look at how we can use precision medicine to support a better treatment response, but also expand our understanding of schizophrenia itself."

Mrs Taylor said the NSW Government had awarded funding to experts from Neuroscience Research Australia and Newcastle University:

  • Unlocking midbrain microglia as treatment targets for dopamine dysregulation in schizophrenia, led by Dr Tertia Purves-Tyson at Neuroscience Research Australia and University of NSW. Aims to expand on knowledge of the symptoms of schizophrenia and help identify new treatments to help people better manage the condition.
  • Developing novel strategies to normalize dopamine dysregulation during inflammation. A collaborative project led by Professor Cynthia Weickert Neuroscience Research Australia and University of NSW, Professor Tim Karl and Dr Rose Chesworth Western Sydney University and Professor Kelly Newell University of Wollongong; aiming to create knowledge about the state of glutamate-related changes in the brain of people with schizophrenia to inform future clinical trials.
  • Exploration of genetically informed precision medicine for schizophrenia using human cerebral organoids. Led by Professor Murray Cairns at Newcastle University, aiming to use a precision medicine platform to improve targeted treatments.

This funding builds on the NSW Government's record $2.9 billion investment into mental health services as part of the 2022-23 NSW Budget.