Neurodiagnostics: current projects

1. Quantitative measurement of schizophrenia using electrovestibulography. (ARC Linkage Grant)

Aim
The purpose of this is to develop vestibular-based diagnostics for schizophrenia and to use these to measure the efficacy of medications and other therapies used in schizophrenia.

Participants
People with and without schizophrenia.

Methods
Electrovestibulography is used to record impulses from the vestibular systems of people with and without various illnesses in order to identify possible differences between groups.

Project status
This project is currently under way. Early results indicate that electrovesibulography can distinguish between participants with schizophrenia and people with other disorders or no diagnosed disorders.

Researchers
Brian Lithgow
Jayashri Kulkarni
Caroline Gurvich
Saman Hagoohie
 


 

2. Quantitative measurement of depression using electrovestibulography.
 
Aim
The aim of this project is to develop vestibular-based diagnostics for depression (unipolar and bipolar) and to use these to measure the efficacy of medications and other therapies used in depression.

Participants
People with and without depression (unipolar and bipolar).

Methods
Electrovestibulography is used to record impulses from the vestibular systems of people with and without various illnesses in order to identify possible differences between groups.

Project status
This project is currently under way. Early results indicate that electrovestibulography can distinguish between participants with depression and people with other disorders or no diagnosed disorders. There also appear to be differences between results from people with unipolar and bipolar depression.

Researchers
Brian Lithgow
Paul Fitzgerald
Caroline Gurvich
Amber Garrett
 


 

3. The diagnosis, biomarker identification and measurement of drug efficacy in mental illness and neurological conditions
(NHMRC Development Grant).

Aim
The project aims to further validate vestibular-based diagnostic techniques for use in Parkinsons disease, schizophrenia, and depression.

Methods
Electrovestibulography is used to record impulses from the vestibular systems of people with and without various illnesses in order to identify possible differences between groups.

Project status
Based on early results, it appears that electrovestibulography can successfully distinguish participants with schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease or depression from each other and from people without any of these disorders (control group).

Researchers

Brian Lithgow
Jayashri Kulkarni
Paul Fitzgerald
Caroline Gurvich
 


 

4. Quantitative measurement of vertiginous disorders using electrovestibulography.
   
Aim
The aim of this project is to develop vestibular-based diagnostic techniques for vertiginous disorders (central vertigo, BPPV and Meniere’s disease.)

Methods
Electrovestibulography is used to record impulses from the vestibular systems of people with and without vertiginous disorders in order to identify possible differences between groups.

Project status
This project is currently under way. So far it appears that electrovestibulography can successfully distinguish participants with Meniere’s disease from people with schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease or depression and from people without any of these disorders (control group). The technique is also able to separate Meniere’s disease from BPPV.

Researchers
Brian Lithgow
Daniel Heibert

Proposed/future projects
 We hope to evaluate the use of electrovestibulography as a diagnostic technique in autism, Aspergers disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

 

 

 MAPrc Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Level 4, 607 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004

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