About the Institute

Neurological illness and injury is common, affecting one in five people internationally. We believe that major advances are yet to be made in neuroepidemiology and neurorehabilitation and our team is working hard to contribute to knowledge gains in this important area. Key points of difference for the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences (NISAN) include:

Epidemiological studies

Population-based epidemiological studies of stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other major non-communicable disorders.

Continuation of the series of Auckland stroke incidence studies [1982-1983, 1992-1993, 2002-2003, 2012-2013 etc.]

Initiation of nationally representative TBI incidence studies [2009-2010, 2019-2020 etc.]

Contribution to the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2013 study in the are of neurological disorders.

Applied clinical research

Applied clinical research of immediate and widely applicable interventions (both pharmacological and non-pharmacological), especially those with prevention, rehabilitation, psychological and educational components.

Focus on neurobehavioural interventions

A unique feature of the Institute is its emphasis on assessment and amelioration of specific cognitive, behavioural and social consequences of injury and 9680illness. Our clear focus on educational and other patient-orientated strategies is geared towards improving outcomes for survivors of brain injury, their families and caregivers. Once proven to be effective, these strategies are designed to be easily adopted by clinicians. Rehabilitation efforts in relation to brain injury (both stroke and TBI) often focus primarily on motor functioning to improve activities of daily living.  Our broad approach is built on the expertise of its own and associated staff in the fields of brain injury and neuropsychology.

Strong emphasis on multidisciplinary collaborations

NISAN works closely with experts nationally and internationally from fields of research and practice, including public health, epidemiology, rehabilitation, psychology, neuropsychology, neurology, cardiology, traumatic brain injury, neurophysiology, social science.

Relationships with other research Institutes 

The Institute acts as an independent hub, interfacing with clinical and epidemiological research within the School of Rehabilitation and Occupation Studies, School of Pub9678lic Health and Psychology, National Institute for Public Health, Mental Health Research and Health Research and Rehabilitation Institute. This linkage is a springboard to identify potential areas and forms of intervention that could be trialled via NISAN.
 
We also collaborate with:

  • The Interdisciplinary Trauma Research Unit
  • Knowledge Engineering and Discovery Research Institute (KEDRI)
  • National Centre for Health and Social Ethics
  • Sport and Recreation Research New Zealand
  • Biotechnology Research Institute
  • Pacific Islands Families
  • Centre for Midwifery and Women's Health Research 

 

Māori, Pacific people and other minority groups

The Institute is working to ensure that the impact of major health risks and conditions in Māori and Pacific people, and other minority groups is addressed

Neurological disorders (including brain injury) are the leading causes of significant lost healthy life years in New Zealand, and a cause of disparities between Māori/Pacific and non-Māori/non-Pacific life expectancies.

9679Current and future research of the NISAN will allow evaluation of novel, practicable interventions that appear to show considerable promise towards addressing these major health issues.


Māori researchers have played an integral part in the design process of many of the Institute's projects and are closely involved in the conduct of these studies and the analysis and dissemination of the results


There are significant opportunities for Māori research workforce development in each project

NISAN researchers are committed to satisfying Treaty of Waitangi obligations and improving responsiveness to Māori.

We recognise the importance of partnerships with Māori and of maximising opportunities for Māori participation in research.