Professor Peter Nestor: Cognitive neurology

Professor Nestor aims to relate the neuropsychological and behavioural profiles of degenerative dementias, such as Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia, to regional brain damage through neuroimaging (MRI and PET) and histopathological analysis. His particular interest is the pathological landscape of incipient dementia (so-called mild cognitive impairment).

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Researcher biography

Prof Nestor joined the Queensland Brain Institute in October/2017 and has a conjoint appointment as a cognitive neurologist at Mater Misericordiae Ltd (Mater Hospital).

His particular interests include understanding the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease (i.e. before dementia is established); atypical forms of dementia with a particular focus on primary progressive aphasia and dementias related to Parkinson's and Lewy body diseases; and improving differential diagnosis between the major categories of neurodegenerative diseases.

He works on development of neuropsychological tests of cognition, both to accurately track change over time and improve diagnostic accuracy between the major diseases causing dementia. He also uses multi-modal imaging (magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] and positron emission tomography [PET]) to understand the sequence of events occurring in degenerative brain diseases (particularly Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson's disease, motor neuron disease [ALS], progressive supranuclear palsy [PSP] and corticobasal degeneration [CBD]) and identify novel biomarkers. A major focus of his is on developing novel approaches to MR imaging for single subject pathological diagnoses that can be exported into the everyday clinical setting; recent examples include diffusion tensor imaging to identify PSP and CBD (Sajjadi et al, 2013) and quantitative susceptibility mapping in Parkinson's disease (Acosta-Cabornero et al, 2013).