Interventional Neuropsychology

Cognitive impairment is common across a number of mental health conditions, most prominently dementia, and it is highly debilitating. Yet despite billions of dollars and decades of research we have yet to see the development of a single effective treatment across any of these disorders. This represents an extraordinary unmet global need and this is the focus of the Interventional Neuropsychology research group, lead by Professor Kate Hoy.

Through the use of advanced neuroscience techniques, we are able to investigate brain function in cognitive disorders and develop innovative treatments. The Interventional Neuropsychology research group conducts research aimed at developing and translation innovative brain stimulation treatment’s for cognition, through world-first research and commercialisation. We conduct clinical trials in conditions such Alzheimer’s, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and schizophrenia. In addition to our clinical trials, we also conduct studies using advanced neuroscience techniques, to try and better understand the underlying brain processes of cognitive disorders and symptoms, and the mechanisms through which brain stimulation may enhance function. This investigating research is conducted in disorders including traumatic brain injury, depression, Huntington’s, and anxiety disorders.

Group Head - Prof Kate Hoy

Prof Kate Hoy currently leads a number of world first clinical trials aimed at improving cognition in Alzheimer's, as well preventing dementia in people with mild cognitive impairment. Her team is also conducting research looking at cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, head injury, Huntington's disease and mild cognitive impairment, as well as investigating ways in which to optimise efficacy of prefrontal brain stimulation techniques.

Find out more about Prof Kate Hoy

Current Clinical Research Trials

Clinical Trials

Below is the list of clinical trials including a brief description, trial type and coordinator details.

Alzheimer’s Disease

A randomized controlled trial of Theta Burst Stimulation for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease - TBS for Alzheimer’s

A double-blind placebo-controlled randomised pilot study comparing a treatment course of active TBS to sham TBS. (Investigator initiated)

Dr Melanie Emonson

Investigating a novel brain stimulation treatment for mild Alzheimer’s disease - tACS in Alzheimer’s

The study aims to investigate the efficacy of tACS therapy in reducing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and to examine the patient experience of tACS treatment in a randomised controlled trial with 50 patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease (aged 50-85 years). (Investigator initiated)

Bridget Kennedy

A longitudinal investigation of the neurophysiological changes related to cognitive performance and the effects of neuromodulation in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) - tACS for MCI

A longitudinal investigation of the neurophysiological changes related to cognitive performance, and the effects of neuromodulation in MCI, utilising a purpose designed and built remote use transcranial electrical stimulation device: BrightStim. (Investigator initiated)

Freya Stockman

ECLIPSE: An early intervention to empower and support carers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease - ECLIPSE

ECLIPSE - a newly designed, fortnightly, small-group-based intervention - will be provided over an eight-week period to carers of individuals recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease – Not yet recruiting. (Investigator initiated)

Dr Melanie Emonson

Other Cognitive & Mental Health Disorders

The therapeutic potential of brain stimulation for apathy in Huntington's disease (HD) - Brain Stim, Apathy & HD

Investigation of whether modulating delta or alpha power with tACS targeting functionally relevant cortex (i.e., medial frontal/anterior cingulate) may improve apathy in HD by affecting long-range oscillations as well as local networks. (Investigator initiated – PhD Study)

Marie Claire Davis

Combining brain stimulation and virtual reality to improve social cognition in schizophrenia - Brain Stim and VR for Schizophrenia

This trial is investigating whether combining tACS with virtual reality social cognition training improves theory of mind processing in participants with schizophrenia beyond that of virtual reality training alone. (Investigator initiated – PhD Study)

Kirsten Gainsford

Investigating brain correlates of anxiety using electroencephalogram (EEG) and transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) - tACS in Anxiety

Pilot study investigating the brain basis (and potential improvement) of anxiety-based cognition with tACS across the spectrum of anxiety (from healthy controls to generalised anxiety and/or social anxiety). (Investigator initiated – PhD Study)

Jessica Michael

Experimental Trials

Below is the list of experimental trials including a brief description, trial type and coordinator details.

Effects of frequency on enhancement & modulation of neural oscillations using brief transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) - Frequency effect of tACS

Investigation of the minimum tACS stimulation duration that is required to produce neurophysiological effects, the role of tACS duration in length of after-effects, and the effects of non-continuous tACS at rest and during cognitive task performance. (Investigator initiated – Masters Study)

Robert Cooper

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental and cognitive health - Impact of COVID-19: online surveys

The aim of this study is to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental and cognitive health examining resilience and risk factors in the general community and those who have experienced COVID 19, using online surveys. (Investigator initiated)

Dr Oscar Murphy

Equivalence and stimulation parameter investigations for Brainamp (StimEEGV2b): a purpose developed transcranial alternating current stimulator (tACS) - Brainamp Stage 1 ‐ 4

A within subjects randomised blinded two session study, to assess the self‐reported tolerability and side effects between the BrainAmp and tACS StartStim devices. (Investigator initiated)

Greg Humble