Research Projects

Through our research partnership with Macquarie Medical Imaging (MMI), Macquarie MindScan has access to many techniques to investigate diseases and disorders of the brain and spinal cord. Long term partnerships have been forged with multiple research centres conducting investigations into Parkinson’s Disease, the Dementias, Motor Neuron Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, brain tumours, white matter connectivity, and neurocognitive functioning. The majority of the research investigations conducted at MMI utilise multi-modality, multi-radiopharmaceutical imaging with research level Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computed Tomography (CT) equipment.

MMI and the Macquarie University Hospital (MUH) were the only Australian location chosen to participate in a longitudinal study tracking the progression of Parkinson’s Disease (PPMI study).

Together with our partners The Institute of Neurodegenerative Diseases, MUH Neurology Department and The Michael J Fox Foundation, MMI utilises a hybrid PET/CT camera and PET/MRI fusion software to visualise an innovative dopamine radiopharmaceutical (PPMI F18AV-133) to allow early detection of Parkinson’s Disease. Multiple scans are acquired throughout the study, tracking dopamine decline and generating new knowledge in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease.

MMI participates in many international level clinical trials for treatment and imaging of Mild Cognitive Impairment and the Dementias. In partnership with Molecular Neuroimaging L.L.C., MUH Neurology Department, KaRa MINDS and Avid Radio-pharmaceuticals, MMI utilises novel radiopharmaceuticals for visualisation of amyloid and tau, neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease. Additionally, MMI conducts studies investigating the benefit of certain treatments on the accumulation of these pathologies within the brain.

Together with Blue Skies, University of NSW, University of Sydney and University of Western Sydney, MMI is refining less invasive, yet robust methods to identify neural changes associated with various Dementias. Advances are being made in the field of MRI, with significant reductions in examination duration, whilst significantly increasing the volume of data acquired and therefore improving image quality.

MMI conducts multiple research projects with private and governmentally funded research bodies including CSIRO, Macquarie University, University of Sydney, Karviah, Cochlear Pty Ltd., Janseen and BioGen. These studies address an array of questions including neurocognitive functions, white matter connectivity and tumour localisation. MMI’s research collaboration with Macquarie University provides an extensive list of state of the art equipment for use in neurocognitive studies. At MMI we can present high resolution visual stimuli via MR compatible BOLDScreens, positioned adjacent to the bore of the MRI. High quality auditory stimuli can be delivered via the MR Confon system, and tactile stimulation is also available. Participant responses can be monitored via Lumina button response pads, eyetracking is available via the Eyelink 1000 and vocal responses can be collected via a MR compatible microphone.

MMI also conducts ‘in-house’ research to refine clinical scanning protocols and procedures for a variety of neurological conditions including Multiple Sclerosis, Chiari Malformations, Arteriovenous Malformations and Aneurysms. This research has led to many advances in imaging protocols. For example, MMI’s Chiari Malformation flow studies delivers superior temporal inplane resolution and are able to demonstrate the physical displacement of the cerebellum. The video at the top of the page is a dynamic cerebrospinal fluid study clearly demonstrating a Chiari Malformation with associated clinically relevant syrinx evident. This video demonstrates dynamic flow characteristics which are not visualised with conventional MR scanning.

Tell us what is holding you back from conducting research with a new technique. Please provide your feedback and thoughts on whether we could assist you in conducting a study. Here are some avenues we are pursuing.

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