MRI Bio-Marker Study

Data Collection: 2019 – 2024

Currently, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans used in standard medical practice often offer only limited information for the diagnosis of different forms of degenerative brain diseases. The overall aim of this study is to improve the ability of MRI to make disease-specific diagnoses of the major neurodegenerative disease patients (eg., Alzheimer’s Disease, frontotemporal dementias, Parkinson’s Disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and related disorders) using advanced MRI methods. In addition to improved diagnosis, it is hoped that these new MRI methods may also offer new insights into how these diseases affect the brain and, therefore, potentially identify new targets for treatment.


Cognitive Test Development and Normative Data Collection Study

Data Collection: 2019 – 2024

In order to know if a mental ability is not normal in brain diseases that cause dementia, we first have to define normal! This involves testing healthy people in the same age range as those who develop dementias. We therefore need the help of healthy people over the age of 50 to do these tests so that we can create a normal range of performance. Some of these tests are already in use around the world and we need to create a normal range for the local population; sometimes we develop completely new tests that we hope will be more useful in diagnosing and understanding dementias than those that already exist.

To volunteer for this study, please click on this link and go to “Cognitive Test Development.”


The Australian Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) Gene-Carrier Longitudinal Study

Data Collection: 2019 - Ongoing

FTD usually occurs spontaneously in single individuals, however, it can sometimes run in a family (meaning that multiple relatives are affected). Examples of these family forms of FTD include those caused by abnormalities in the C9orf72 gene, the progranulin (PGRN) gene or the tau gene. In this study, we are trying to better understand how the FTD disease process emerges by studying healthy first degree relatives from such families. The study involves a blood test, MRI scanning and tests of mental abilities. It is hoped that with a better understanding of how the disease emerges, methods of prevention might be developed in the future.

To volunteer for this study, please click on this link and go to “The FLAG Study”.