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Huntington's Disease Research

The Huntington’s Disease Research team within the ECU Melanoma Research Group is a multidisciplinary team whose research is centred around investigating novel environmental enrichment treatment modalities and the development of prognostic and diagnostic assessments within the Huntington’s disease (HD) population.

Aims

  • To investigate the therapeutic potential of environmental enrichment treatment modalities in impacting HD progression via clinical, functional, imaging, physiological and biochemical biomarkers;
  • Assess the therapeutic effectiveness of environmental enrichment in improving the quality of life for HD individuals; and
  • Design simple, inexpensive, HD-sensitive biomarkers capable of assessing HD symptomatic progression.

Current Projects

  • The effects of environmental enrichment on clinical measures of disease progression and quality of life for patients with Huntington’s disease
  • The sensitivity of biomarkers in detecting Huntington’s disease symptomatic onset and progression

Research Team

Primary Researchers

  • Professor Mel Ziman, Leader
  • Dr Jennifer Thompson, Project Manager
  • Dr Roger Barker, Centre for Brain Repair, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Associate Professor Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis, Experimental Neuropsychology Research Unit, Monash University
  • Clinical Associate Professor Michael Bynevelt, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

Associate Researchers

External Collaborators

  • Dr Carmela Pestell, Neurosciences Unit, North Metropolitan Area Mental Health Service, WA Department of Health
  • Dr Joseph Lee, Psychiatrist Neuroscience Unit, North Metropolitan Area Mental Health Service, WA Department of Health
  • Mr Steve Andrews, Neurosciences Unit, North Metropolitan Area Mental Health Service, WA Department of Health
  • Dr Penny Flett, CEO, Brightwater Care Group
  • Assistant Professor Caroline Bulsara, The University of Western Australia
  • Ms Janet Wagland, Manager of Services of Younger People, Brightwater Care Group
  • Mr Timothy Lo, Residential Care Manager, Brightwater Care Group
  • Jessica Dwyer, Resident and Report Coordinator, The Bethanie Group Inc.

Alliances

Huntington’s disease organisations

  • Ms Dee Sidhu, Huntington’s Disease Association of WA

Research students

PhD

  • Mr Travis Cruickshank
  • Mr Alvaro Reyes
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