Australian Twin Registry
The ATR brings twins and researchers together to benefit the health of twins and all Australians


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Issue 15 Summer 2016

Currently recruiting twin studies

New Studies

It is the season of gift giving and a gift only a twin can give is the donation of precious time and information for a twin study.The following studies are commencing around Australia. Please help research that benefits everyone at email or freecall 1800-037-021.

Value of a sleep quality program for people with chronic low back pain

This study is investigating the value of a sleep quality program for people with low back pain and insomnia. Twins aged 18+ with a smart phone and internet access, where both suffer from low back pain and have average to poor sleep, are eligible to participate.

The TANDEM Twin Study

This study is investigating how temperament develops over time, with a particular focus on the period of late childhood through to mid-adolescence. Where can temperament be identified in the brain? How are these areas connected to one another? What genetic and environmental factors influence temperament development? This project involves an online survey and some twins may also be contacted for a magnetic resonance imaging scan. Identical twins aged 9-15 years old who live in Victoria are eligible to participate.

Neurofibromatosis (NF1) Study

We are looking for identical twin pairs where one, or both, has NF1 for a potential new study aiming to improve outcomes for sufferers. NF1 is a neurological disorder that can affect the brain, spinal cord, nerves and skin. It usually appears in childhood. If you know or are an identical twin with this condition please contact us to learn more at

Genetics of Epilepsy: A Twin Approach

This study is investigating the role of epigenetics in epilepsy. Although our genes are very important in making us who we are, they are only a part of the picture – the way our genes act can be influenced by environmental factors through a process called epigenetics. This research hopes to improve understanding of the environmental causes of epilepsy, which could then improve prevention and treatment in the future. The project involves a 45-minute interview as well as a collection of blood and a cheek swab. Twin pairs, where one has epilepsy and the other doesn’t, are eligible to participate.

Health and Lifestyle Questionnaire

The Health and Lifestyle Questionnaire was developed for ATR members, and ideally we would like all of our members to complete it, as it is the best way to ensure we invite twins to participate in the studies most relevant to them. It asks about a range of topics including a member’s background, health conditions and lifestyle. Invitations to complete the Health and Lifestyle Questionnaire are sent via email to all current ATR members over one year of age where both (or the parents of junior twins) have a valid email address.

Menopause and Bone Health

The purpose of the study is to understand how bone structure changes during menopause and how hormonal factors contribute to bone loss and bone fragility. It involves a short questionnaire over the phone and a visit to the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital in Melbourne to undergo a bone density scan – this is a great way to get a free bone health check up! Female twins aged 60 plus, and able to visit Heidelberg, are eligible to participate.

The Older Australian Twins Study Amyloid Imaging Project

This important study has been recruiting twins for more than nine years and has made a substantial contribution to understanding brain ageing. The researchers have new funding to take a more in-depth look at how the brain ages by obtaining brain images of ‘plaques’, which contain the amyloid protein - a known predictor of memory decline. All current participants will be invited to join this new phase and the researchers are also keen to recruit new pairs over the age of 65 years from Victoria and NSW.

A Twin Study of the Naplan (National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy)

In this study the researchers are using the results of twins, other multiples, and siblings to help identify the genetic and environmental factors that influence how well a child performs in their Naplan tests. This information will be important for developing advice about measures that parents and educational authorities can take to help all children reach their full potential in school. It will also inform policy-makers about the roles of schools and teachers in children’s rates of academic progress. All twins and triplets who have sat the Naplan in the past or will do so this year are eligible.

To learn more about any of our studies and to express an interest in participating, please visit this link.

If you are interested in providing us with feedback about the ATR and/or your involvement in our research projects, you can do so via our member satisfaction survey.

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Copyright 2015: Australian Twin Registry, Level 3, 207 Bouverie Street, Carlton, Victoria 3010
The ATR is a national resource supported by a Centre of Research Excellence Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council and administered by the University of Melbourne.