Cognitive Therapeutics Research Program

The Cognitive Therapeutics Research Program is headed by Associate Professor Kate Hoy. The group's research is focused on the development of novel biological treatments for cognitive impairment in both psychiatric and neurological illnesses. Information about our current research studies are provided below.

 

Current Treatment Trials:

 

Investigating the use of brain stimulation to treat the cognitive symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer's

We are seeking volunteers between 50 and 95 years of age with a diagonsis of mild to moderate Alzheimer's. We are investigating whether a form of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation can improve the cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer's. Participation will involve visiting our research centre in Prahran for an initiial interview (2-3 hours), 21 treatments over a 6 week period (each lasting approximately 30 mintues), and two follow up interviews (2-3 hours each).  Participants will be provided compensation toward your travel and time costs.  If you think this sounds interesting and would like to know more please contact Melanie Emonson on (03) 9076 9864 or email tms-enquiry@monash.edu or click here for further details.

 

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

We are seeking adults aged 50 to 70 years who would like to help us to investigate the effects of non-invasive electrical brain stimulation on brain activity and cognition over time in people who meet criteria for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). MCI refers to a decline in memory that does not impact on daily functioning. This study is a 3-year clinical trial. Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) will be self-administered in the comfort of your own home over 3 years, following comprehensive training by a trained researcher. Participation will also involve attending the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc) located in Prahran for 7 times each year. Collectively, these visits will involve interviews, assessments, cognitive activities, questionnaires, as well as recording brain activity and collecting blood for genetic analysis. You will be offered yearly reports on the regular cognitive assessments that you undergo throughout the trial. If you would like to know more or are interested in participating, please contact Ms Freya Stockman via phone (03) 9076 9896 or email freya.stockman@monash.edu

 

Current Investigative Studies:

 

The relationship between cortical activity and cognitive function after head injury

We are seeking volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 to help us investigate the relationship between changes in brain activity and symptoms after a concussion. We are using a non-invasive type of brain stimulation to learn more about changes post-concussion and during recovery. Participation will involve visiting our research centre in Prahran for three research sessions.  The first session will occur within 1 month since your concussion and take approximately 3 hours. The following sessions will occur 3 and 6 months post-concussion and will take approximately 2 hours each. Together we will complete an interview, do some thinking tasks, take a recording of your brain waves and give you a short session of non-invasive brain stimulation. If you think this sounds interesting and would like to know more please contact Ms Hannah Coyle on (03) 9076 8649 or hannah.coyle@monash.edu 

 

Investigating the therapeutic potential of brain stimulation for apathy in Huntington's disease

Many people with Huntington’s disease (HD) experience problems with motivation, often referred to as “apathy”. There are currently no effective treatments for apathy in HD. We are conducting this study to investigate whether transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), a gentle non-invasive brain stimulation technique, can alter brain activity in a way that may be used to increase motivation in people with HD. We are seeking volunteers with and without HD who are aged between 18 and 65 to participate. Participants need to be able to attend MAPrc for 3 separate sessions lasting 2-3 hours. Each session involves 20 minutes of tACS, completion of a motivation task, and recording brain waves.  Participants will be provided reimbursement toward time and travel costs for each session. If you would like to discuss your eligibility to participate, please contact Marie-Claire Davis at marie-claire.davis@monash.edu.

 

Investigating EEG patterns in individuals with varying attentional abilities 

We are seeking individuals between the ages of 18 and 55 who either a) practice mindfulness, b) have a diagnosis of ADHD, or c) have no existing or previous history of neuropsychological or psychiatric illness. We are investigating weather there is a difference in brain activity among individuals with varying attentional abilities. Recruitment is expected to begin in early November-December. Participation will include a battery of neuropsychological tests (45 mins), followed by a screening of EEG. During EEG recordings, participants will complete a set of cognitive tasks which work on attention processes (approximately 60 minutes). Participants will be compensated for their time and travel costs. If you would like to participate inn this study please contact Andrea Marcu at Andrea.marcu@monash.edu