Investigating biomarkers, clinical and cognitive symptoms in Huntington's disease and Alzheimer’s disease

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science, Post Doctor Researchers
Department
Psychiatry
Location
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Anita Goh goha@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Professor Dennis Velakoulis dennisv@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page

Summary This project uses the data from two large international longitudinal studies (ADNI and ENROLL-HD) to investigate the differences and similarities across the two cohorts (Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease), regarding biomarkers, clinical (e.g. neuropsychiatric symptoms) and cognitive symptoms. You will have the opportunity to work with a rich database of data. This project will suit a student with an interest in psychiatry, neurology, and neuropsychology, and who is interested in publishing findings.

Project Details

This project mines the longitudinal data from two large studies:
1. ADNI (see adni.loni.usc.edu for more details): ADNI was founded in 2004 and since its founding, ADNI has included patients with dementia thought to be due to AD, patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and cognitively normal controls. Initially ADNI included MRI (various sequences), FDG PET, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (from lumbar puncture) measurements, in addition to clinical assessments, neuropsychological tests, genetic assessments, and banking of plasma/serum. Later amyloid PET, tau PET, and collection of brain tissue from autopsy for pathology have been added. At home unsupervised cognitive testing has been added. Over 2000 participants have been enrolled at 60 sites across the USA and Canada and are followed annually.
2. Enroll-HD https://enroll-hd.org/ is a worldwide observational study for Huntington’s disease families. It will monitor how the disease appears and changes over time in different people, and is open to people who either have HD or are at-risk. There are more than 23,000 participants that have been enrolled into Enroll-HD and over 1 million aliquots of DNA, lymphoblastoid cell lines and PBMCs that are available for research

This project uses the data from the above two studies to investigate the differences and similarities across the two cohorts, regarding biomarkers, clinical (e.g. neuropsychiatric symptoms) and cognitive symptoms. You will have the opportunity to work with a rich database of data. This project will suit a student with an interest in psychiatry, neurology, and neuropsychology, and who is interested in publishing findings.

RESEARCH AT THE NEUROPSYCHIATRY UNIT
The unit forms a clinical arm of the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, a joint research unit of the University of Melbourne and Melbourne Health/North-Western Mental Health.A number of our clinicians have strong research backgrounds in cognition, imaging, and clinical research. While providing high-quality assessments for our patients, we also foster and generate high-quality research in psychiatry and neuropsychiatry with the aim of improving our understanding of the disorders we treat, and to aid in the generation of new treatments.Our research involves characterising brain-behaviour relationships in a range of neuropsychiatric, neurodegenerative and neurometabolic disorders, and we also work with research groups locally and internationally in characterising these illnesses and in trialling novel treatments for brain disorders.


Faculty Research Themes

Neuroscience

School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry



Research Opportunities

PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science, 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

Psychiatry

Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital

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