The Epigenetics of Trauma: Search for Novel Markers for Diagnostics and Treatment Response
Trauma-induced disorders are usually marked in individuals directly exposed but strikingly, they can also affect their offspring sometimes across generations. This project, at the frontier between epigenetics and molecular psychiatry, aims to study how childhood trauma can influence mental and physical health across generations.
Treating Depression with Botulinum Toxin
Recently, studies demonstrated that persons suffering from depression benefited from a one-time botulinum toxin A (BTA) injection in the forehead. However, these studies are unable to answer the question of how BTA exerts its antidepressant effect. Thus project seeks to unravel the mechanism(s) behind the effect in order to establish efficacy and safety for therapeutic applications.
Sensory Contributions to Cognition in Neuro-developmental Disorders
There is a growing recognition of the interdependency between the integrity of sensory systems (e.g. seeing, hearing, touch) and their mutual interplay with cognitive functions, in typical development but especially in individuals with neuro-developmental disorders. This new framework is dramatically changing the ways in which such disorders are both diagnosed and treated.
PERTH - MAPS
MAPS ( Medicine, Advocacy, Patients, Science) Project
Can pharmacogenetics testing advance a more personalised approach to diagnosis and treatment with drug therapies?
The diagnosis and treatment of people with treatment resistant anxiety and mood disorders, using available prescribed medications, continues to be largely a “hit or miss” process, with wide ranging and variable individual outcomes.
While genetic testing has been available for a decade or more, its clinical relevance, for the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders, has not been broadly recognised in practice.
This project seeks to confirm the clinical relevance of the MyDNA pharmacogenetics test for people with treatment resistant anxiety and mood disorders, including its capacity to predict patient responsiveness, potential side effects and effective dosage.
PERTH - rTMS
rTMS - (Repetitive Trans-cranial Magnetic Stimulation)
A promising and emerging alternative to medication is neuromodulation in the form of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), which alters brain activity and connectivity, and subsequently changes behaviours or thoughts, including reducing depression. The goal of this research is to study the effects of rTMS on the brain, integrating studies of single cells, defined circuits and behavioural outcomes to understand how brain plasticity can be harnessed to treat depression. The vision is to facilitate the development of safe and effective brain-based treatments for depression that are tailored to the individual.