The Experimental Neuropsychology Research Unit, Monash University
Who are we?
The Experimental Neuropsychology Research Unit (ENRU) forms part of the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, in the School of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University.
- To undertake world-class interdisciplinary clinical research in rare, adult onset neurodegenerative disorders to improve understanding of the pathophysiology of disease and to better characterise cognitive and motor deficits
- Identify novel biomarkers of disease progression to inform new treatments
- Translate research findings into the clinic and home to improve clinical care, functional outcomes and quality of life
- To train the next generation research scientists and graduate research students, and to promote professional and personal growth to make impact in the community and beyond
The medical profession continues to be challenged by debilitating neurodegenerative disorders and patients face inevitable chronic decline leading to death. While treatments have improved in recent decades, understanding the underlying pathophysiology and mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease, as well as the relationship to clinical and functional outcomes still remains largely unknown.
Through large interdisciplinary research programs, our researchers integrate a range of sophisticated assessment tools, including motor technologies, cognitive paradigms and state-of-the-art brain imaging methods (i.e. MRI, fMRI, DTI, EEG, and TMS) to examine brain-behaviour relationships. Using innovative technology, our neuroimaging work in Huntington’s disease (IMAGE-HD) and Friedreich Ataxia (IMAGE-FRDA) has pioneered multi-modal imaging and discovered novel biomarkers sensitive to tracking disease progression providing new insights for examining and treating disease at the brain, cognitive and motor level. Such sensitive biomarkers are now being used in early drug development to more effectively examine the immediate effects of drugs on target brain regions thus improving clinical trial efficiency. Our focus remains to undertake high quality cutting-edge research and to provide new knowledge that can help deliver improved health outcomes for individuals in our communities living with debilitating neurodegenerative conditions.