Theme LeaderProfessor Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis
T: +61 3 9905 1575
Movement Disorders and Ageing
The study of aged individuals with and without disease is becoming ever more significant as our population is getting older and older. We adopt strong multi-disciplinary research strengths from neurology, psychiatry, genetics, cognitive neuroscience, and experimental neuropsychology in understanding brain-behaviour relationships in both healthy ageing and in individuals with movement disorders, including Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Freidriech ataxia, FXTAS (Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome), Alzheimer’s disease and other associated dementias.
We lead the way in applying cutting edge clinical and experimental approaches in exploring linkages between brain mechanisms and the cognitive and motor signatures in these movement disorders. We also study mental health in older people including detection and treatment of depression in nursing home residents; non-pharmacological treatments of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and brain stimulation therapies.
Our approaches include the use of state-of-the-art neuroimaging technologies (e.g., MRI, EEG, TMS); neuromotor (e.g., eye-tracker, gait-mat) and neurocognitive assessments, including driving simulation; genetic analysis to study variability of disease onset and progression; epidemiological surveys and clinical trials.
Our research is both relevant and high impact as we work to bridge the gap between neurogenetics, brain imaging and behaviour; discover sensitive biomarkers for clinical trials; understand syndrome heterogeneity; and translate research breakthroughs directly into the clinic for improved health outcomes.
Bayer Australia funded project: A/Prof Owen White and Dr Joanne Fielding; Ocular motor and cognitive assessment of physiological progression in multiple sclerosis. (2010-2012, $300,000)
Cure Huntington’s Disease Initiative (CHDI) & NHMRC funded project: Prof Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis, Prof Gary Egan, Prof Julie Stout, Dr Andrew Churchyard and Prof Edmond Chiu; Longitudinal Investigation: A neuroimaging study investigating brain structure, function, and connectivity in pre-diagnosis and early symptomatic Huntington’s disease individuals using functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging (IMAGE-HD) (2010-2013, $2.1 million)
ARC funded project: Prof Kim Cornish, A/Prof Sylvia Metcalfe, A/Prof Julian Trollor, Prof Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis, Dr Wei Wen, Prof Robert Iansek, Dr Joanne Fielding, Prof John Bradshaw, Prof Martin Delatycki and Dr Anna Hackett; Are neurobehavioural and neuromotor impairments associated with FMR1 gene expansion? (2011-2013, $400,000)
ARC funded project: Prof Julie Stout, Dr Jerome Busemeyer and Dr Daniel Upton; Cognitive models of decision making in clinical populations (2011-2013, $263,000)
Alzheimer’s Australia National Quality Dementia Care Initiative funded project: Dr Eva van der Ploeg, Dr Susannah Runci, Dr Cameron Camp and Prof Daniel O’Connor; Re-establishing a good relationship when a person with dementia resides in long-term care: Training dementia carers to conduct activities with their relatives in the nursing home setting (2011-2013, $250,000)
Dementia Collaborative Research Centres (DCRC) funded project: Dr Eva van der Ploeg and Prof Daniel O’Connor; Volunteer-facilitated implementation of personalised one-to-one activities with nursing home residents with dementia and agitated behavior (2012, $26,665)
Dementia Collaborative Research Centres (DCRC) funded project: Dr Eva van der Ploeg and Prof Daniel O’Connor; The use of Skype™ family conversations compared to regular telephone calls to reduce agitation in people with dementia (2012, $29,070)
Fielding, J., Kilpatrick, T., Millist, L & White, O. (2009). Antisaccade performance in patients with Multiple Sclerosis. Cortex, 45, 900-903.
Chee, R., Murphy, A., Danoudis, M., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., & Iansek R. (2009). Gait freezing in Parkinson’s disease and the stride length sequence effect interaction. Brain, 132, 2151-60. doi: 10.1093/brain/awp053.
Sritharan, A., Egan, G., Johnston, L., Horne, M., Bradshaw, J., Bohanna, I., Asadi, H., Cunnington, R., Churchyard, A., Chua, P., Farrow, M., & Georgiou-Karistianis, N. (2010). A longitudinal diffusion tensor imaging study in symptomatic Huntington’s disease. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 81, 257-262. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.2007.142786.
Nguyen, L., Bradshaw, J. L., Stout, C. J., Croft, R., & Georgiou-Karistianis, N. (2010). Electrophysiological measures as potential biomarkers in Huntington's disease: Review and future directions. Brain Research Reviews, 64, 177-194. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2010.03.004.
Henderson, T., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., White, O., Millist, L., Williams, D.R., Churchyard, A., & Fielding, J. (2011). Inhibitory control during smooth pursuit in Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s Disease, Movement Disorders, 26 (10), 1893-1899. doi: 10.1002/mds.23757.
Tabrizi, S.J., Scahill, R., Durr, A., Roos, R.A.C., Leavitt, B.R., Jones, R., Landwehrmeyer, G.B., Fox, N.C., Johnson, H., Hicks, S.L., Kennard, C., Craufurd, D., Frost, C., Langbehn, D.R., Scahill, R.I., Stout, J.C. and Track-HD Investigators. (2011). Biological and clinical changes in premanifest and early stage Huntington's disease in the TRACK-HD study: the 12-month longitudinal analysis. Lancet Neurology, 10, 31-42.
Runci, S., Eppingstall, B.J., & O’Connor, D.W. A comparison of verbal communication and psychiatric medication use by Greek and Italian residents with dementia in Australian ethno-specific and mainstream aged care facilities. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2011 Dec 5:1-9. [Epub ahead of print] (doi 10.1017/S1041610211002134).
Tabrizi, S.J., Reilmann, R., Roos, R.A.C., Durr, A., Leavitt, B., Owen, G., Jones, R., Johnson, H., Craufurd, D., Hicks, S.L., Kennard, C., Landwehrmeyer, G.B., Stout, J.C., Borowsky, B., Scahill, R.I., Frost, C., Langbehn, D.R., and the TRACK-HD investigators. (2012). Potential endpoints for clinical trials in premanifest and early Huntington’s disease in the TRACK-HD study: analysis of 24 month observational data. Lancet Neurology Vol 11 (1) 42-53. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(11)70263-0.
McSweeney, K., Jeffreys, A., Griffith, J., Plakiotis, P., Kharsas R., & O’Connor, D.W. Specialist mental health consultation for depression in Australian aged care residents with dementia: a cluster randomized trial. 2012 Feb 17:1-9. [Epub ahead of print] (doi: 10.1002/gps.3762).
Georgiou-Karistianis, N., Akhlaghi, H., Corben, L.A., Delatycki, M.B., Storey, E., Bradshaw, J.L., & Egan, G.F. Decreased functional brain activation in Friedreich ataxia using the Simon effect task. Brain and Cognition, in press 10 February 2012.
Dr Audrey McKinlay recipient of the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research (Early Career).
Dr Audrey McKinlay awarded the prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) for her project ‘Early identification of young people at risk of offending behaviour and mental health issues following traumatic brain injury’.
World Congress on Huntington’s Disease (WCHD) held in Melbourne for the first time at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, September 2011 – co-chaired by Dr Andrew Churchyard, Prof Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis and Prof Julie Stout with over 500 delegates from 24 countries
Centres and Groups
- Centre for Developmental Psychiatry & Psychology
- Aged Mental Health Research Unit
- Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory
- Developmental Neuroscience and Genetics Disorders Laboratory
- Experimental Neuropsychology Research Unit
- Ocular Motor Research Laboratory
Professor Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis (Theme Leader)
Research Led Education
- PSY2031 Biological and Developmental Psychology
- PSY3180 Human Neuropsychology: Developmental and neurodegenerative disorders
- DPSY5162 - Neuroanatomy for the Clinical Neuropsychologist
Research Led Clinical Activities
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