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Neuroimaging of Brain Networks in Rare Neurodegenerative Diseases

Description 
Parkinsonian diseases, Huntington’s disease, and Spinocerebellar ataxias are progressive and fatal neurological disorders characterised by atrophy in one or more subcortical brain regions. However, these primary sites of atrophy are extensively interconnected with other areas of the brain, resulting in large-scale changes in brain systems. Understanding changes within brain network is thus critical to more completely understanding the cause, progression, and ultimately treatment of the profound motor and cognitive deficits in these disorders. 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 connectivity between the cerebrum, striatum, and cerebellum in 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
Masters by coursework
Honours
BMedSc(Hons)
Time commitment 
Full-time
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Yes
Year 1: 
$5000
Year 2: 
$5000
Year 3: 
$5000
Physical location 
Alfred Centre, The Alfred Hospital
Co-supervisors 
Assoc Prof 
Adeel Razi
Dr 
Rebecca Kerestes

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