Brain stimulation and clinical translation

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Masters by Research, Post Doctor Researchers
Department / Centre
Psychiatry
Location
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Associate Professor Andrew Zalesky azalesky@unimelb.edu.au +61390357747 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Robin Cash robin.cash@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page

Summary Develop innovative brain stimulation therapies for depression and other psychiatric disorders based on new knowledge of aberrant brain circuits and systems

Project Details

The overarching goals of this project are to establish transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) protocols to:

  • Translate neuroimaging findings of our broader group to the clinic and into better clinical outcomes.
  • Provide a means to move our research from correlation to causation.

While many individuals with mental health conditions respond to medication, other individuals do not or find the side-effects intolerable. For these individuals, therapeutic brain stimulation can potentially be life-changing. Brain stimulation (particularly TMS) can be used to target and modify specific brain circuits that are abnormal in mental health disorders in order to bring about clinical improvements. Brain stimulation is a gentle non-invasive approach that can gradually alleviate symptoms over the course of 4-6 weeks of daily treatment.

However, while brain stimulation is effective for some individuals, not all will benefit. Our group focusses on establishing a better understanding the relations between specific brain circuits and clinical symptoms and on translating these findings to the clinic to more effectively treat mental health conditions.

Given that it can take several weeks of treatment to establish who will and will not respond to therapeutic brain stimulation, we have also developed methodology to assist in predicting treatment response. This approach utilises patterns of brain communication to identify responders and non-responders to treatment. This can potentially spare individuals the time and expense of treatment.

Further research and key questions

  • Expanding personalised treatment to other psychiatric disorders based on disease-relevant brain circuits
  • Implementation of personalised brain stimulation in the clinic
  • Investigations of the response of specific brain circuits and symptoms to brain stimulation
Check our our lab website for further details: www.sysneuro.org


Faculty Research Themes

School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry



Research Opportunities

PhD students, Masters by Research, Post Doctor Researchers
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre

Psychiatry

Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital

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