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Brain Networks in Subcortical Neurodegenerative Diseases: Using Neuroimaging to Characterise the Interactions between Cerebral, Striatal, and Cerebellar Systems

Description 
Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Spinocerebellar ataxias are progressive and terminal neurological disorders characterised by primary atrophy in one or more subcortical brain regions, resulting in profound motor and cognitive deficits. However, these primary sites of atrophy are extensively interconnected with other areas of the brain, representing pathways of secondary downstream dysfunction or compensation. In particular, recent evidence highlights the parallel roles of cerebro-striatal and cerebro-cerebellar systems in human motor and cognitive behaviours. Moreover, the existence of direct axonal interconnections between these systems has debunked traditional views of their relative independence. These observations open new and currently unexplored opportunities to develop more complete disease models and potentially uncover new therapeutic targets. This project will utilise functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data acquired from individuals with subcortical neurodegenerative disorders, paired with network neuroscience statistical approaches, to investigate cerebro-striatal-cerebellar connectivity, its association with disease severity, and its relevance to tracking or treating these diseases.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here: https://www.monash.edu/admissions/entry-requirements/minimum
Keywords 
neurodegeneration, MRI, neuroimaging, cerebellum, striatum, ataxia, brain, neuroscience, neurology, magnetic resonance imaging, connectivity
School 
Central Clinical School » Neuroscience
Available options 
PhD/Doctorate
Masters by research
Honours
BMedSc(Hons)
Time commitment 
Full-time
Top-up scholarship funding available 
No
Physical location 
Alfred Centre, The Alfred Hospital
Co-supervisors 
Dr 
Adeel Razi

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