Turning insights into life changing tools

Jimena Garcia-Vega

In a leading-edge international collaboration, Jimena Garcia-Vega, Senior Neurological Physiotherapist at SCGH, is continuing her unflagging pursuit of the mystery of lateropulsion in brain cancer patients.

You may remember Ms Garcia-Vega from our 2023 Tax Appeal. The appeal spotlighted one of Ms Garcia-Vega’s patients, Stuart, who struggled with lateropulsion, a challenging hurdle presented by an incurable brain tumour. Ms Garcia-Vega worked tirelessly with Stuart to independently stand to marry the love of his life, Lily.

With Stuart’s struggles firmly front of mind, Ms Garcia-Vega successfully applied for a 2023/24 Discovery Grant from the Foundation and, thanks to the generous support of our donors, is spearheading a trailblazing project to unlock the life changing impact of lateropulsion in patients just like Stuart.

Typically observed in post-stroke patients, lateropulsion leads individuals to perceive their body as ‘upright’ when, in reality, it is tilted toward the side of the brain that has suffered damage. This inability to stand independently significantly impairs their quality of life.

The project seeks to examine patients both before and after the removal their life-threatening brain tumour. Already, Ms Garcia-Vega has observed that individuals with a brain tumour positioned just above the ear may experience considerable problems with lateropulsion, significantly impacting their quality of life.

Ms Garcia-Vega, in collaboration with colleagues in Brazil and the United States, are determined to create new pathways in the rehabilitation of those battling lateropulsion and extend these strides in patient care worldwide.

"The study has been immensely thrilling, involving team members from Perth, Brazil, and the USA.

In the coming months, the study aims to further understand lateropulsion in brain cancer patients, paving the way for tailored therapies, giving the same level of health care that stroke patients across the world already benefit from.

Your contribution empowers researchers like Ms Garcia-Vega, unlocking the potential to translate these insights into life-changing tools that have a profound impact on people’s lives.