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Cognition, Speech, Affect, and Motor Function in Rare Brain Diseases

Understanding the comprehensive symptom profile of someone with a complex neurodegenerative disorder, and developing tools to actively monitor a person’s disease progression, are essential to understanding the disease, predicting outcomes, and ultimately, finding cures. This project will use a suite of web-based and remotely administered tools to develop new insights into the expression and progression of cognitive, speech, mood, and motor symptom in people with spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs). Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are rare genetic diseases that result in progressive degeneration of the cerebellum and motor pathways in the brain, resulting in incoordination, loss of ambulation, difficulty speaking and swallowing, and often some cognitive difficulties and changes in mood. The project will include comprehensive annual assessments, alongside a smaller subset of data collected monthly from people with SCAs to characterise and monitor changes in people’s function, and determine which measures are the most relevant for use in the clinic, future research studies, and clinical trials.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
neurodegeneration, cognition, cognitive, mood, motor, cerebellum, brain
Available options 
Masters by research
Masters by coursework
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Physical location 
Alfred Centre, The Alfred Hospital
David Szmulewicz (Neurologist)
Louisa Selvadurai (Neuropsychologist)

Want to apply for this project? Submit an Expression of Interest by clicking on Contact the researcher.