Dr Rahena Akhter

Senior Lecturer
Head, Discipline of Cariology

C12 - United Dental Hospital
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9845 7281
Fax +61 2 9633 4759
Website University of Sydney
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Scopus
Curriculum vitae Curriculum vitae

Biographical details

Dr. Rahena Akhter serves as Senior Lecturer and Discipline Head of Cariology at the Faculty of Dentistry, the University of Sydney. Prior to joining the University of Sydney, Dr Rahena Akhter served as Lecturer at the Faculty of Dentistry, Charles Sturt University where she led as Year 2 coordinator and subject coordinator for Dental Clinical Practice 2. Dr Akhter received her PhD in the field of Preventive Dentistry, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan where she received prestigious Japan Government Monbusho scholarship for 4 years. Dr. Akhter was appointed as a faculty (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Preventive Dentistry, Okayama University, Japan where she continued (2007-2009) her academic career. In 2009, Dr Akhter earned the prestigious Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the Jaw Function and Orofacial Pain Research Unit at the Faculty of Dentistry, the University of Sydney, Australia and promoted to lecturer in 2011.She was the founder and section councilor of Western division of NSW International Association for Dental Research (IADR) division. Currently she has been given the responsibility as a section councilor from central NSW and presenting at IADR meeting 2016 in Seoul, Korea.

Dr. Akhter published 80 peer-reviewed (28 journal articles and 52 conference proceedings) articles in high impact leading journals in Dentistry. Currently, her total H index is 14 and total citation 515 with a total impact factor 55.26. Among all publications, she published six ERA “A*” ranked and ten ERA “A” ranked published articles (according to ISI Journal Citation Reports). Dr Akhter presented more than 45 national and international conferences and also invited as a symposium speaker and Panel discussion member in several countries (e.g., Korea, Japan, Spain, USA, Australia etc). She achieved several competitive “research grants” in Australia (ADRF, 2014-2015), International Program Development Fund (IPDF), 2012-2014), USYD fellowship grant, 2009-2012 and Japan (Wakate B, Young Investigator Research Grant 2009, Start-up, 2008, UNESCO Japan Funds-in-Trust, 2007) etc. She has supervised severalPhD, MPhil, postgrad and undergrad Honors students. Dr. Akhterachieved several “competitive awards” in the field of Dentistry, one of them was “Joseph Lister Award 2015” in IADR Boston, MassachusettsUSA, “Young Investigator Neuroscience Research Award” in IADR, San DiegoUSA in 2011, 2ndAsian Academy of Temporomandibular Disorder Best Research Award in Hiroshima, Japan in July 2011 and “Research in Prevention Travel Award” in Baltimore IADR 2005.In 2015, she had been awarded Faculty and Division Research Excellence at CSU. She had been a successful international collaborator and currently continuing several research projects with several countries (e.g., Denmark, Australia, Netherland, Switzerland, Japan, Indonesia and Bangladesh etc).She was a “Secretary” in the Western Division branch of the Australian Dental Association (ADA) from 2014-2015.She had been the active member of various international societies (e.g., IADR, IASP, APS, AAPD, ANZAOP etc) and editorial board member and reviewer of several high impact international journals. She has been invited as a symposium speaker at Australian Dental Association Convention 2016 in Bathurst, NSW Australia.

Research interests

Cariology research particularly socioeconomic, environmental and behavioral determinants of dental caries in children and adolescents with cerebral Palsy.

Oral health researchin elderly/aboriginal population in regional Australia (longitudinaland cross-sectional epidemiological study)

Medical-student research carried out in University setting.

Salivary analysis, Blood micronutrient analysis, Bad breath analysis, Bite force measurement etc.

Microbiological and Histopathological study: slide preparation, histopathological examination etc

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

Current research students

Project title Research student
Health related quality of life, including psychological and sexual wellbeing, of adolescents with cerebral palsy in rural Bangladesh and stress among their primary caregivers (Bangladesh CP QoL Study) Rosalie POWER

Current projects

TITLE 1: Factors affecting dental caries experience in children with cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a set of nonprogressive neuromuscular disorders caused by defects in the developing fetal brain. Children with Cerebral Palsy are often have physical, coordinative, sensory, intelligence, communication and cognitive difficulties in performing, sensing and memorizing self-care activities of daily living (ADLs), such as walking, bathing, dressing, brushing the teeth, eating, conversing, and ambulating. These difficulties severely impact their ADLs and lead to a deteriorated oral health status such as a high caries rate and number of decayed teeth, low restoration teeth number and rate and/or poor restorative quality, and profound periodontal inflammation. As a result, children with CP often require extensive dental treatment. The aim of our study was to describe the factors affecting dental caries experience and oral health status among children and adolescents with cerebral palsy.In this study, children with CP of 2-18 years old will be selected. CP types in terms of clinical patterns of involvement (quadriplegia, diplegia, hemiplegia or double hemiplegia) and Severity of CP measured using the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS I-V), will be assessed. Caries experience will be measured by decayed, missing, and filled teeth (dmft/DMFT) index. Clinical periodontal index (CPI), BMI, oral hygiene behaviour (tooth brushing frequency, use of toothbrush and FL toothpaste), dental visit, masticatory ability and history of snacking between meals will also be assessed. Data will be analysed using chi-square and Fisher’s exact test. After bivariate analysis, variables with a p-value <0.05 will be selected for incorporation into the binary regression models and adjusted for age and gender. This study would emphasize on earlier preventive measures for CP patients because they are a high-risk group for dental caries. Effort should be made for better organization of preventative dental care and promoting dental health of this challenged population.

TITLE 2: Oral health and physical fitness among elderly adults in regional Australia

Older persons with poor physical fitness are at risk of oral disease, because physical disability may affect their ability to maintain good oral hygiene and restrict their access to dental treatment. Nevertheless, there has been no report on the association between oral health condition and physical fitness measurements in an elderly population in Regional Australia, where more than 3 million people (13.5%) are aged 65 and older. The aimsof the present study were to provide preliminary data on the prevalence of oral disease in elderly non-smokers in regional and rural Australia as well as its association with psychosocial status and physical fitness.Voluntary middle-aged (60 and over) nonsmoking patients with six or more teeth living in regional Australia (Orange, Bathurst, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga etc), would participate in this study. Caries experience will be measured by decayed, missing, and filled teeth (dmft/DMFT) index. 6 index teeth will be examined using the Periodontal screening and recording (PSR) scoring method. The subjects’ physical fitness will be measured according to handgrip strength (HGS, kg) and one-leg standing time with open eyes (OLST, seconds). Information on age, sex, education, dietary history and systemic disease will be obtained. Body mass index (BMI); masticatory function (Eichner Index); and periodontal condition, including probing depth (PD), clinical attachment level (CAL), and bleeding on probing (BOP), gingival recession, and mobility will be recorded. Levels of plaque accumulation will be recorded using the plaque index (PI). SPSS 22.0 will be used for statistical analysis. The findings from this study would raise an important clinical issue for prevention of dental caries and periodontal disease. Oral health status, because it is easy to examine and modify through treatment, could be used as a screening tool to identify individuals at risk of deterioration in health. An increased focus on prevention of the development of dental caries and periodontal disease in individuals at risk may benefit general health and dental health.

Associations

· International Association for Dental Research (IADR)

· Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (RACDS)

· Australian Dental Association (ADA)

· Australia/New Zealand Assoc. for Dental Research

· International Association for Study of Pain (IASP)

· Australian Pain society (APS)

· Japanese association for Dental Research (JADR)

· Asian Academy of Preventive Dentistry

· Japanese society for Dental Health

Awards and honours

  • 2015 IADR Joseph Lister Award, IADR/AADR/CADR General Session Exhibition;March 11-14, 2015, Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • 2011 Colgate Oral Health Travel Competition (Postdoctoral category), 51st Australia / New Zealand Division Annual meeting, Melbourne Australia, October, 2011
  • 2011 2nd Asian Academy of Temporomandibular Disorder Best Research Award, Hiroshima Japan, June 2011
  • 2011 Blackwell-publishing IADR Young Investigator Neuroscience Research Award, International Association for Dental Research (IADR) conference, San Diego, USA, March, 2011
  • 2006 2nd Asian Research Award on Oral Health, Tehran, Iran, January, 2006
  • 2005 Colgate Oral Health Prevention Travel Award, International Association for Dental Research (IADR), Baltimore, USA, March, 2005

In the media

1. 30/4/2015- Bite Magazine, NSW “Pain relief research awarded on international stage.
http://bitemagazine.com.au/pain-relief-research-awarded-on-international-stage/
2. 22/4/2015- International dental award to Dr. Rahena Akhter, Central Western Daily Newspaper.
http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/ International dental award
3. 11/11/2014 - Research led by Dr Rahena Akhter from School of Dentistry and Health Sciences on “A real pain in the neck?”
http://news.csu.edu.au/latest-news/health/a-real-pain-in-the-neck
4. 02/05/2013 – “New research involving Charles Sturt University (CSU) lecturer Dr Rahena Akhter has shown the dentist’s drill may not always be the best cure for a sore tooth”.
http://news.csu.edu.au/latest-news/science/new-research-drills-into-chronic-pain
5. I was interviewed for my excellent research works at CSU in Western Daily newspaper on May 9, 2013.
http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/1487679/toothache-might-not-be-whats-biting-you/
6. 30/3/2015- Pain-relieving research awarded on international stage
http://news.csu.edu.au/latest-news/science/pain-relieving-research-awarded-on-international-stage
7. Interviewed in WIN TV News Orange (channel 8) on 12th May 2013, in relation to research publications as well as the orofacial pain management clinic at the Dental and Oral health clinic, School of Dentistry and Health Sciences at Charles Sturt University, Orange, NSW.

Keywords

Oral hygiene; Orofacial pain; Physical fitness; Cerebral Palsy; dental caries

Selected grants

2012

  • Jaw muscle pain and jaw motor function; Akhter R, Murray G, Peck C, Yoshida A; Office of Global Engagement/IPDF Grant.

2009

  • Jaw Muscle Pain and Jaw Motor Function; Akhter R; DVC Research/Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Scheme.

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Book Chapters

  • Akhter, R., Yamanaka, R., Furuta, M., Esaki, M., Yamamoto, T., Okazaki, Y., Maruyama, T., Yokoi, A., Morita, M. (2011). Relationship between Visual Activity and Labial Closure Force in Japanese Elementary School Children. Relationship between Visual Acuity and Labial Closure Force in Japanese Elementary School Children, (pp. 288-294). Japan: Journal of Dental Health.

Journals

  • Alshelh, Z., Marciszewski, K., Akhter, R., Di Pietro, F., Mills, E., Vickers, E., Peck, C., Murray, G., Henderson, L. (2018). Disruption of default mode network dynamics in acute and chronic pain states. NeuroImage: Clinical, 17, 222-231. [More Information]
  • Murray, A., Akhter, R., Hassan, N. (2017). Assessment of anxiety and depression among university students and its impact on temporomandibular disorders. Australian Dental Journal, 61(4), S34-S34. [More Information]
  • Akhter, R., Murray, A., Hassan, N. (2017). Assessment of anxiety and depression among university students and its impact on temporomandibular disorders. Australian Dental Journal, 61(4), S34-S35. [More Information]
  • Akhter, R., Svensson, P., Nicholas, M., Peck, C., Murray, G. (2017). Effect of experimental jaw muscle pain on jaw muscle activity in higher catastrophizers. Australian Dental Journal, 61(4), S6-S6. [More Information]
  • Hassan, N., Akhter, R., Staudinger, L., Tarpey, N., Basha, S., Cox, S., Kashiwazaki, H. (2017). Oral Disease and Malnutrition in the Elderly-Impact of Oral Cancer. Current Oral Health Reports, 4, 64-69. [More Information]
  • Akhter, R., Hassan, N., Martin, E., Muhit, M., Haque, M., Smithers-Sheedy, H., Jones, C., Badawi, N., Khandaker, G. (2017). Risk factors for dental caries among children with cerebral palsy in a low-resource setting. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 59(5), 538-543. [More Information]
  • Akhter, R., Hilton, G., Hassan, N. (2017). The associations between self-perceived orofacial pain symptoms with social and physical variables in regional New South Wales. Australian Dental Journal, 61(4), S33-S34. [More Information]
  • Amhamed, M., Whittle, T., Maulina, T., Gal, J., Akhter, R., Murray, G. (2016). Effect of experimental anterior temporalis muscle pain on jaw movements. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, 43(12), 889-899. [More Information]
  • Henderson, L., Akhter, R., Youssef, A., Reeves, J., Peck, C., Murray, G., Svensson, P. (2016). The effects of catastrophizing on central motor activity. European Journal of Pain, 20(4), 639-651. [More Information]
  • Henderson, L., Peck, C., Petersen, E., Rae, C., Youssef, A., Reeves, J., Wilcox, S., Akhter, R., Murray, G., Gustin, S. (2013). Chronic Pain: Lost Inhibition? The Journal of Neuroscience, 33(17), 7574-7582. [More Information]
  • Minami, I., Akhter, R., Albersen, I., Burger, C., Whittle, T., Lobbezoo, F., Peck, C., Murray, G. (2013). Masseter Motor Unit Recruitment is Altered in Experimental Jaw Muscle Pain. Journal of Dental Research, 92(2), 143-148. [More Information]
  • Akhter, R., Morita, M., Ekuni, D., Hassan, N., Furuta, M., Yamanaka, R., Matsuka, Y., Wilson, D. (2013). Self-reported aural symptoms, headache and temporomandibular disorders in Japanese young adults. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 14, 1-7. [More Information]
  • Minami, I., Akhter, R., Luraschi, J., Oogai, K., Nemoto, T., Peck, C., Murray, G. (2012). Jaw-movement smoothness during empty chewing and gum chewing. European Journal of Oral Sciences, 120(3), 195-200. [More Information]
  • Akhter, R., Morita, M., Esaki, M., Nakamura, K., Kanehira, T. (2011). Development of temporomandibular disorder symptoms: a 3-year cohort study of university students. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, 38(6), 395-403. [More Information]

2018

  • Alshelh, Z., Marciszewski, K., Akhter, R., Di Pietro, F., Mills, E., Vickers, E., Peck, C., Murray, G., Henderson, L. (2018). Disruption of default mode network dynamics in acute and chronic pain states. NeuroImage: Clinical, 17, 222-231. [More Information]

2017

  • Murray, A., Akhter, R., Hassan, N. (2017). Assessment of anxiety and depression among university students and its impact on temporomandibular disorders. Australian Dental Journal, 61(4), S34-S34. [More Information]
  • Akhter, R., Murray, A., Hassan, N. (2017). Assessment of anxiety and depression among university students and its impact on temporomandibular disorders. Australian Dental Journal, 61(4), S34-S35. [More Information]
  • Akhter, R., Svensson, P., Nicholas, M., Peck, C., Murray, G. (2017). Effect of experimental jaw muscle pain on jaw muscle activity in higher catastrophizers. Australian Dental Journal, 61(4), S6-S6. [More Information]
  • Hassan, N., Akhter, R., Staudinger, L., Tarpey, N., Basha, S., Cox, S., Kashiwazaki, H. (2017). Oral Disease and Malnutrition in the Elderly-Impact of Oral Cancer. Current Oral Health Reports, 4, 64-69. [More Information]
  • Akhter, R., Hassan, N., Martin, E., Muhit, M., Haque, M., Smithers-Sheedy, H., Jones, C., Badawi, N., Khandaker, G. (2017). Risk factors for dental caries among children with cerebral palsy in a low-resource setting. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 59(5), 538-543. [More Information]
  • Akhter, R., Hilton, G., Hassan, N. (2017). The associations between self-perceived orofacial pain symptoms with social and physical variables in regional New South Wales. Australian Dental Journal, 61(4), S33-S34. [More Information]

2016

  • Amhamed, M., Whittle, T., Maulina, T., Gal, J., Akhter, R., Murray, G. (2016). Effect of experimental anterior temporalis muscle pain on jaw movements. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, 43(12), 889-899. [More Information]
  • Henderson, L., Akhter, R., Youssef, A., Reeves, J., Peck, C., Murray, G., Svensson, P. (2016). The effects of catastrophizing on central motor activity. European Journal of Pain, 20(4), 639-651. [More Information]

2013

  • Henderson, L., Peck, C., Petersen, E., Rae, C., Youssef, A., Reeves, J., Wilcox, S., Akhter, R., Murray, G., Gustin, S. (2013). Chronic Pain: Lost Inhibition? The Journal of Neuroscience, 33(17), 7574-7582. [More Information]
  • Minami, I., Akhter, R., Albersen, I., Burger, C., Whittle, T., Lobbezoo, F., Peck, C., Murray, G. (2013). Masseter Motor Unit Recruitment is Altered in Experimental Jaw Muscle Pain. Journal of Dental Research, 92(2), 143-148. [More Information]
  • Akhter, R., Morita, M., Ekuni, D., Hassan, N., Furuta, M., Yamanaka, R., Matsuka, Y., Wilson, D. (2013). Self-reported aural symptoms, headache and temporomandibular disorders in Japanese young adults. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 14, 1-7. [More Information]

2012

  • Minami, I., Akhter, R., Luraschi, J., Oogai, K., Nemoto, T., Peck, C., Murray, G. (2012). Jaw-movement smoothness during empty chewing and gum chewing. European Journal of Oral Sciences, 120(3), 195-200. [More Information]

2011

  • Akhter, R., Morita, M., Esaki, M., Nakamura, K., Kanehira, T. (2011). Development of temporomandibular disorder symptoms: a 3-year cohort study of university students. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, 38(6), 395-403. [More Information]
  • Akhter, R., Yamanaka, R., Furuta, M., Esaki, M., Yamamoto, T., Okazaki, Y., Maruyama, T., Yokoi, A., Morita, M. (2011). Relationship between Visual Activity and Labial Closure Force in Japanese Elementary School Children. Relationship between Visual Acuity and Labial Closure Force in Japanese Elementary School Children, (pp. 288-294). Japan: Journal of Dental Health.

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