Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts
The Honourable Ros Bates

Brainy initiative has power to change young lives

The Newman Government has announced $1 million to help combat cerebral palsy, the state’s most prevalent infant disability.

The money will be used to fund the testing of eBRAIN, pioneering technology which uses game-based rehabilitation therapies delivered online to the homes of affected children.

The Minister for Science, Information Technology and Innovation Ros Bates said the technology could transform the lives of children with cerebral palsy, which affects 120 newborns in Queensland each year,

“eBRAIN can reduce the strain on our health system as well as improve the standard of living for children with cerebral palsy and their families,” Ms Bates said.

“Altering the cognitive response of the brain is an exciting frontier and we’re proud to support Queensland specialists as they lead the nation in this field.

“This government is busy rebuilding the state’s scientific capabilities to provide an environment where knowledge, creat ivity and innovation underpin the four pillars of our economy and deliver an improved lifestyle for all.”

eBRAIN is a first for Australia. It will be tested by the Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre (QCPRRC), which operates within The University of Queensland.

QCPRRC Scientific Director Professor Roslyn Boyd said the multi-modal eBRAIN program would use a combination of physical activity, cognitive challenges and manipulation to enhance and spark cerebral adaptation.

“The program allows children with cerebral palsy and acquired brain injury to use an interactive web-based application from their own home,” Prof Boyd said.

“That means it’s more cost effective because children don’t have to visit several therapists, alleviating the pressures on busy families and those who live remotely.”

The Queensland Government’s investment in eBRAIN is matched by a $1 million contribution form the Merchant Charitable Foundation.