Research Projects

The impact of COVID-19 on cannabis use in people with endometriosis

Researchers from NICM Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University, Otago University, University of New South Wales and McMaster University are interested in finding out if the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting changes in access to normal medical care has caused a change in the usage of cannabis (or cannabinoid-containing products such as edibles) amongst people with endometriosis; this may be starting cannabis use, or if you are an existing cannabis user, changing some of your usage habits such as using more cannabis or switching from one mode of administration (such as vaping) to another. This information will help us better understand the role that cannabis plays in the management of endometriosis symptoms. You do not need to be a current, or previous user of cannabis to participate. It's important for us to have people who don't use cannabis also answer so we can see if there are differences in those that do or don't use cannabis.

We are inviting people aged 18-55, worldwide, who have been told by their doctor they have endometriosis to fill in an anonymous 15-30 minute online survey here:

Download the Participant Information Sheet (PDF, 70.75 KB) (opens in a new window)

Researchers: Dr Mike Armour, Mr Justin Sinclair, Mr Andrew Proudfoot, Mr David Varjabedian, Dr Geoff Noller, Dr Jane Girling, Ms Maria Larcombe, Dr Mathew Leonardi, Professor Jason Abbott

Partner/Funding Body: NICM Health Research Institute and Western Sydney University

Western Sydney University Human Research Ethics Committee Approval Number: H13823.

Electrophysiological biomarkers for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease

Are you over 60, and still as sharp as a tack?  Or do you know somebody with memory problems?  If so, then please keep reading!

Purpose of the study:
This project aims to increase our knowledge of the brain activity that relates to the problems with memory and thinking that occur in the pre-dementia phase of Alzheimer's disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). This is important for understanding the disease and how it works (basic science), as well as for the development of effective, targeted treatments (translational research). This project will compare the brain activity and cognitive abilities of 20 people with MCI and 20 age-matched healthy people. 
What does participation in this research involve?
If you decide to participate in the project, you will be contacted via telephone for a brief screening interview. If you meet the criteria for the trial, you will be invited to attend a testing session which involves completing a consent form, an interview and some forms about your general health, and a computerised cognitive task. You will then be fitted with an electrode cap and will be asked to complete another series of cognitive tasks whilst the electrical activity of your brain is recorded. The entire procedure is expected to take around 3 hours. If you are experiencing memory problems or have been told that you have MCI, you will also need a close family member of friend (e.g., spouse, sibling, child over 18 years old) to confirm that you have been experiencing problems with cognition either during the screening session or beforehand on the telephone or via email.

We are looking for participants who are:
* Over 60 years old
* Able to think and reason clearly and effectively OR
* Experiencing problems with memory and/or thinking
* Not diagnosed with dementia
* Non-smokers
* Right-handed
* Not suffering from any serious health conditions

Further information and who to contact:

View the MCI Group (PDF, 228.34 KB) (opens in a new window) or the Healthy Group (PDF, 224.79 KB) (opens in a new window) information posters

Download the Participant Information Sheet (PDF, 150.95 KB) (opens in a new window)

If you would like any further information or you have any queries about the study, please contact Dr Genevieve Steiner or by phone: (02) 4620 3708

Western Sydney University Human Research Ethics Committee Approval Number: H11152

Researchers: Associate Professor Genevieve SteinerProfessor Dennis Chang

Herbal Medicine to Treat Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality and imposes a huge financial burden on the Australian health care system. Herbal medicine has been widely used in cardiovascular care in many countries for centuries. Despite a growing body of scientific evidence in support of the use of herbal medicine for the management of CVD, significant gaps exist in knowledge base surrounding mechanisms of action of these interventions. This project will focus on the evaluation of mechanisms of action of herbal formulations for coronary heart disease/stroke and vascular dementia, using both in vitro and in vivo models.

Researchers: Professor Dennis Chang, Dr Sai Seto

A multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of Sailuotong (SLT), a standardised Chinese herbal medicine formula in patients with Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease

Researchers: Professor Dennis Chang, Professor Alan Bensoussan

Partner/Funding Body: Australia Shineway Technology Pty Ltd

A pilot randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of Nao Xin Qing Pian (NXQ), in patients with ischemic stroke

Researchers: Professor Dennis Chang, Professor Alan Bensoussan

Partner/Funding Body: Hutchison Whampoa Guangzhou Baiyunshan Chinese Medicine Co. Ltd