"Neuroscience detectives for kids"
The Kids Neuroscience Centre (KNC) is a flagship laboratory and clinical research group within Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network and is closely linked with the Neurology, Neurogenetics and Neurosurgical clinical services.
From the ultra-rare ‘one-in-a-million’, to the far too common, KNC expert research teams of more than 115 doctors, scientists and allied health professionals work side-by-side to study and treat brain, muscle and nerve disorders. Our core business lies in new innovations in frontier diagnostics: the most crucial step to provide a name, explanation, and insight into a condition. A precise diagnosis in turn enables provision of the best clinical model of personalised care, focussed critically upon early intervention and disease prevention. KNC are also one of Australia’s leading centres for national and international clinical trials. Our deep, mechanistic research can pinpoint the crux of the disease process and ignite pre-clinical studies of new therapies.
10% of children, and ~40% of children admitted to SCHN at any one time, have a neurological or developmental disorder. Many neurological conditions are chronic and associated with significant physical, cognitive and/or social impairment. KNC study a wide spectrum of neurological conditions: ADHD, ataxia, autism, cerebral palsy, encephalitis, epilepsy, malformations of cortical development, muscular dystrophies, myopathy, multiple sclerosis, neurofibromatosis type 1, neuropathy, obsessive compulsive disorder, Rett syndrome, Tourette syndrome and others.
Alongside world-leading laboratory research into the genetic and biological mechanisms of disease, we operate a research-based diagnostic service. Embedded within SCHN, the KNC team can move swiftly from investigation to treatment, helping to provide children and families with accurate diagnoses and disease-specific treatment, and a clinical trials unit that allows children to participate in international clinical research and access the latest treatment options.
- We are providing a blood test to diagnose a new, treatable cause of blindness.
- We are developing new biomarkers that can reliably measure treatments for autism.
- We are implementing new ‘RNA genetic testing’ into clinical practice across Australia to help diagnose families without a genetic explanation for their condition. See our RNA for Rare Disease (RNA-4RD) research initiative page for more information.
- We are launching a new diagnostic test for auto-antibody detection in demyelinating disorders.
- We are forging scalable pathways for precision genetic therapies for families with rare disorders.
- We are pioneering deep brain stimulation as a lifesaving intervention in rare genetic causes of cerebral palsy. Establishing the first Australian Neurosurgery unit using Stereo-EEG to pinpoint seizure loci for optimal epilepsy surgery outcomes.
- We are leading world-first clinical trials of a new gene therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
- We are developing global benchmarking scales to measure the burden of disease for children with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.