Neurology and Stroke Research

Neuroscience research

The spectrum of research conducted by the Neurology Research Group is broad; ranging from clinical research to laboratory science.  The Department of Neurology at Monash Health provides service to a large catchment area, approximately a third of the population of Melbourne.  Prof Henry Ma is the Director of the Neurology Department.

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Henry Ma
Prof Henry Ma, Director of Neurology

Our research groups and our researchers

The Neurology Department at Monash Health has members who are adjunct staff in Monash University. It has strong links with the Stroke and Ageing Research Group and Geospatial Analysis. The Department has several themes of research including Stroke, Epilepsy, Movement Disorder, Multiple Sclerosis and Neurodegenerative disease. The focus of research in the Department has been clinical studies and clinical trials of neurological disorders, machine learning, operational and health service research. Prof Phan is the Head of Neuroscience Research at Monash Health.

The Department has a monthly Research in Progress meeting on the fourth Thursday at 1pm. There is a weekly Research Lab meeting on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 pm. The research team includes data analyst (Svitlana Iievlieva), PhD candidates, junior doctors, nurses and allied health staff.

Current PhD candidates:

The Stroke and Ageing Research Group provides a number of research opportunities for students in the fields of cerebrovascular disease (acute stroke, imaging, small vessel disease, stroke prevention, public health) and brain ageing (vascular contributions to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease).  It consists of the following divisions headed by experts in the relevant fields who have substantial experience in mentoring students in research projects.

Clinical Trials, Imaging and Informatics - Prof Thanh Phan and Prof Henry Ma are acute stroke specialists and neurologists with clinical and research expertise in acute stroke and TIA, endovascular therapy, advanced brain imaging, and the use of novel bioinformatics and big data approaches in stroke care.

Epidemiology and Prevention - Prof Amanda Thrift leads large international studies and secondary prevention trials for in stroke. Targeting blood pressure and diabetes management in developing countries is a major focus.

Translational Public Health - Prof Dominique Cadilhac leads a number of large projects aimed at improving quality of stroke care in hospitals, telemedicine provision in regional hospitals, as well as the use of behavioural techniques to improve stroke outcome in patients.

Epilepsy Research group - A/Prof Udaya Seneviratne is a neurologist with clinical and research expertise in epilepsy and EEG. He leads the Epilepsy and EEG Service in the Monash Health hospital network. He is the principal investigator of clinical trials in epilepsy at Monash Health.  Current epilepsy research is focussed on electrophysiological abnormalities in genetic generalised epilepsies as well as semiology of epileptic and psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. His other research interests include critical care EEG, video-EEG monitoring and seizure education.  Dr Subra Muthusamy is undertaking PhD studies into machine learning characterisation of seizure and non-epileptic seizure under supervision of A/Prof Seneviratne, Phan and Phung.

The Movement Disorders group - A/Prof Peter Kempster is the head of the group.  Members include Dr Sanjay Raghav, Ganga Ganeswaran, Yennie Lie, Catherine Ding and Michael Eller.  The group at Monash Health provides a consultative service through Monash Neurology for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.  Specific areas of expertise include dystonia, tremor, deep brain stimulation surgery for movement disorders, advanced pharmacological delivery therapies for Parkinson’s disease and Friedreich's Ataxia.  A research fellowship in movement disorders is available. Enquiry for collaboration or fellowship should be addressed to A/Prof Peter Kempster.

Current and recent research projects:

  • Neuropsychology of multisensory perception in Parkinson’s disease (in collaboration with the Department of Psychology at Monash University
  • A kinematic study of Parkinson’s disease and the levodopa response
  • A kinematic, electrophysiological and neuropsychological study of different categories of dystonia
  • A quantitative CT study of vocal fold and laryngeal movement in Parkinson’s disease
  • Using electronic devices to analyse handwriting and speech in Parkinson’s disease

The Multiple Sclerosis groupA/Prof Ernest Butler, Dr Deepa Rajendran, Dr Victor Chong, Dr Anthony Fok and Dr Martin Short provide comprehensive clinical services for patients with multiple sclerosis.  They conduct several clinical trials in multiple sclerosis.

Neurodegenerative DiseaseDr Susan Mathers (including Dr Yennie Lie), is the head of the group.  She is a member of the Motor Neurone Disease Research Institute of Australia, the MND Research Tissue Bank, and a founding member of the Australian MND Register.  Dr Mathers's main interests are in the management of chronic progressive neurological diseases (such as MND, Huntington disease), models of care and clinical trials. She collaborates with researchers in Monash Biomedical Imaging to characterise the longitudinal change in brain of patients with Motor Neurone Disease.

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The image above is the cover of a report on the Statewide progressive neurological diseases report to the Department of Health and Human Services, written by Dr Mathers
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