Dr James Burrell

Clinical Senior Lecturer
Concord Clinical School


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Biographical details

Dr James Burrell graduated from Arts/Medicine with Honours at UNSW in 2000. James received clinical training in medicine and neurology at Prince of Wales, Royal Prince Alfred, and Concord Hospitals in Sydney, becoming a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2008. James was awarded a scholarship from the MNDRIA and the NHMRC for a PhD with Professors John Hodges and Matthew Kiernan, which he completed in 2012. He was awarded an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship in 2013 and researches the overlaps between frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease, as well as young-onset and atypical dementia syndromes at NeuRA in Sydney. James also runs a busy Early-Onset Dementia clinic at Concord Hospital, where is employed as Staff Specialist in neurology.

Teaching and supervision

Dr Burrell is happy to consider applications for motivated Honours and PhD students. His research combines detailed clinical assessment, neurophysiological methods, clinical neuropsychological assessment, and advanced neuroimaging to improve our understanding of atypical and young-onset dementia syndromes.

Dr Burrell has close links to researchers in the neuropathological and genetics fields.

Current projects

Seeing the forrest for the trees; visuospatial dysfunction as a diagnostic marker in dementia

Diagnostic and prognostic uncertainties significantly handicap the development of effective treatments for dementia. Three main dementia syndromes; Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Lewy Body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are diagnosed in life according to well-established clinical criteria. Due to overlapping and evolving clinical features, about 1/3 patients cannot be classified accurately despite detailed clinical assessment and application of diagnostic criteria. Criteria for the pathologies that cause dementia syndromes also exist, but clinicopathological correlation is highly inconsistent. Without accurate diagnostic and prognostic markers, the development and trialing of potential therapies is unlikely to succeed.

This project proposes to develop tests of visual processing and topographical memory for clinical use in dementia. We hypothesise that disturbances of visual processing and topographical memory: are common in dementia syndromes, relate to pathological involvement of posterior brain structures and networks, and are specific for amyloid pathology.

Language in motor neuron disease; more than just dysarthria

In isolation, both motor neuron disease (MND) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) significantly impair the quality of life of individual patients, and their carers; however, the combination of motor and cognitive symptoms is even more devastating, and often associated with shorter survival. Previous studies of cognition in MND have focussed on executive impairment, but recent imaging studies demonstrated that brain areas related to language processing as well as their connecting tracts are also affected. Nonetheless, language impairment in MND has been little explored to date as it is often overshadowed by the prominence of bulbar motor dysfunction. Further, the impact of such potential language impairment on patient quality of life and carer burden is currently unknown in MND.

This project seeks to clarify the frequency, characteristics, and neural underpinnings of language dysfunction in MND. A clearer picture of the language deficits encountered in MND is critical for the development of appropriate non-pharmacological therapies and carer interventions, which will, in turn, improve patient quality of life and alleviate carer burden.

Associations

Fellow of Royal Australasian College of Physicians(FRACP 2008-)

Member Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists– ANZAN (2005-)

Member American Academy of Neurologists– AAN (2005-)

Awards and honours

National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia

Early Career Fellowship (2014-2018) - $255,217.20

The Miriam Greenfield RACP Research Establishment Fellowship (2015)

$52,000.00

The Servier Staff “Barry Young” Research Establishment Fellowship (2014)

$50,000.00

Motor Neurone Disease Research Institute of Australia – Grant in aid (2013)

$97,009.00

Pfizer Neuroscience Research Grant (2013)

$34,736.00

National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and Motor Neuron Research Institute of Australia Cofunded PhD Scholarship (2009-11)

James W. Lance Young Investigator of the Year Award (2009)

Concord Clinical School Prize for Best Teacher (2008)

TOW Prize (2009, 2011)

Finalist 2009 – Open Junior Division

Platform presentation: “Identification of an isolated bulbar phenotype of motor neurone disease”

Finalist 2011 – Open Senior Division

Platform presentation:“Motor neuron dysfunction in frontotemporal dementia”

Schering Bursary Recipient (2005)

Selected grants

2014

  • Language Deficits And Cognitive Dysfunction In Motor Neuron Disease; Burrell J; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Early Career Fellowships.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Hsieh, S., Caga, J., Leslie, F., Shibata, M., Daveson, N., Foxe, D., Ramsey, E., Lillo, P., Ahmed, R., Devenney, E., Kiernan, M., et al (2016). Cognitive and Behavioral Symptoms in ALSFTD: Detection, Differentiation, and Progression. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, 29(1), 3-10. [More Information]
  • Bae, J., Ferguson, M., Tan, R., Mioshi, E., Simon, N., Burrell, J., Vucic, S., Hodges, J., Kiernan, M., Hornberger, M. (2016). Dissociation of structural and functional integrities of the motor system in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and behavioral-variant frontotemporal dementia. Journal of Clinical Neurology, 12(2), 209-217. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Forrest, S., Bak, T., Hodges, J., Halliday, G., Kril, J. (2016). Expanding the phenotypic associations of globular glial tau subtypes. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, 4, 6-13. [More Information]
  • Kamminga, J., Leslie, F., Hsieh, S., Caga, J., Mioshi, E., Hornberger, M., Ballard, K., Kiernan, M., Hodges, J., Burrell, J. (2016). Syntactic comprehension deficits across the FTD-ALS continuum. Neurobiology of Aging, 41, 11-18. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Halliday, G., Kril, J., Ittner, L., Gotz, J., Kiernan, M., Hodges, J. (2016). The frontotemporal dementia-motor neuron disease continuum. The Lancet, 388(10047), 919-931. [More Information]
  • Foxe, D., Leyton, C., Hodges, J., Burrell, J., Irish, M., Piguet, O. (2016). The neural correlates of auditory and visuospatial span in logopenic progressive aphasia and Alzheimer's disease. Cortex, 83, 39-50. [More Information]
  • Taswell, C., Villemagne, V., Yates, P., Shimada, H., Leyton, C., Ballard, K., Piguet, O., Burrell, J., Hodges, J., Rowe, C. (2015). 18F-FDG PET Improves Diagnosis in Patients with Focal-Onset Dementias. Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 56(10), 1547-1553. [More Information]
  • Walton, C., O’Callaghan, C., Hall, J., Gilat, M., Mowszowski, L., Naismith, S., Burrell, J., Shine, J., Lewis, S. (2015). Antisaccade errors reveal cognitive control deficits in Parkinson’s disease with freezing of gait. Journal of Neurology, 262(12), 2745-2754. [More Information]
  • Kamminga, J., Kumfor, F., Burrell, J., Piguet, O., Hodges, J., Irish, M. (2015). Differentiating between right-lateralised semantic dementia and behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia: An examination of clinical characteristics and emotion processing. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 86(10), 1082-1088. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Piguet, O. (2015). Lifting the veil: How to use clinical neuropsychology to assess dementia. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 86(11), 1216-1224. [More Information]
  • Leslie, F., Hsieh, S., Caga, J., Savage, S., Mioshi, E., Hornberger, M., Kiernan, M., Hodges, J., Burrell, J. (2015). Semantic deficits in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, 16(1-2), 46-53. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Hornberger, M., Vucic, S., Kiernan, M., Hodges, J. (2014). Apraxia and Motor Dysfunction in Corticobasal Syndrome. PloS One, 9(3), e92944. [More Information]
  • Geevasinga, N., Burrell, J., Hibbert, M., Vucic, S., Ng, K. (2014). C9ORF72 familial motor neuron disease - frontotemporal dementia associated with lung adenocarcinoma and anti-Ma2/Ta antibodies: a chance association. European Journal of Neurology, 21(4), e31-e33. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Hodges, J., Rowe, J. (2014). Cognition in corticobasal syndrome and progressive supranuclear palsy: A review. Movement Disorders, 29(5), 684-693. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Sapey-Triomphe, L., Leyton, C., Burrell, J., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2014). Degradation of emotion processing ability in corticobasal syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. Brain, 137, 3061-3072. [More Information]
  • Devenney, E., Homberger, M., Irish, M., Mioshi, E., Burrell, J., Tan, R., Kiernan, M., Hodges, J. (2014). Frontotemporal Dementia Associated With the C9ORF72 Mutation A Unique Clinical Profile. JAMA Neurology, 71(3), 331-339. [More Information]
  • Po, K., Leslie, F., Gracia, N., Bartley, L., Kwok, J., Halliday, G., Hodges, J., Burrell, J. (2014). Heritability in frontotemporal dementia: more missing pieces? Journal of Neurology, 261(11), 2170-2177. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Parratt, K., Lueck, C. (2014). Job variation in advanced training in adult neurology in Australia and New Zealand: A follow-up study. Internal Medicine Journal, 44(6), 554-561. [More Information]
  • Huang, N., Hornberger, M., Hodges, J., Burrell, J. (2014). Measuring disease progression in corticobasal syndrome. Journal of Neurology, 261(8), 1598-1605. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Hornberger, M., Villemagne, V., Rowe, C., Hodges, J. (2013). Clinical Profile of PiB-Positive Corticobasal Syndrome. PloS One, 8(4), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Hodges, J. (2013). Could immunological mechanisms trigger neurodegeneration in frontotemporal dementia? Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 84(9), 946-946. [More Information]
  • Cushing, N., Jang, J., O'Connor, C., Burrell, J., Clemson, L., Hodges, J., Mioshi, E. (2013). Disability in atypical parkinsonian syndromes is more dependent on memory dysfunction than motor symptoms. Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, 19(4), 436-440. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Carpenter, R., Hodges, J., Kiernan, M. (2013). Early saccades in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, 14(4), 294-301. [More Information]
  • Lillo, P., Mioshi, E., Burrell, J., Kiernan, M., Hodges, J., Hornberger, M. (2012). Grey and White Matter Changes across the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-Frontotemporal Dementia Continuum. PloS One, 7(8), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Homberger, M., Carpenter, R., Kiernan, M., Hodges, J. (2012). Saccadic abnormalities in frontotemporal dementia. Neurology, 78(23), 1816-1823. [More Information]
  • Leyton, C., Piguet, O., Savage, S., Burrell, J., Hodges, J. (2012). The Neural Basis of Logopenic Progressive Aphasia. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 32, 1051-1059. [More Information]
  • Kiernan, M., Vucic, S., Cheah, B., Turner, M., Eisen, A., Hardiman, O., Burrell, J., Zoing, M. (2011). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The Lancet, 377(9769), 942-955. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Vucic, S., Kiernan, M. (2011). Isolated bulbar phenotype of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, 12(4), 283-289. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Kiernan, M., Vucic, S., Hodges, J. (2011). Motor Neuron dysfunction in frontotemporal dementia. Brain, 134(9), 2582-2594. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Yiannikas, C., Rowe, D., Kiernan, M. (2011). Predicting a positive response to intravenous immunoglobulin in isolated lower motor neuron syndromes. PloS One, 6(10), e27041-e27041. [More Information]
  • Leyton, C., Villemagne, V., Savage, S., Pike, K., Ballard, K., Piguet, O., Burrell, J., Rowe, C., Hodges, J. (2011). Subtypes of progressive aphasia: Application of the international consensus criteria and validation using b-amyloid imaging. Brain, 134(10), 3030-3043. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Hodges, J. (2010). From FUS to fibs: What's new in frontotemporal dementia? Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 21(2), 349-360. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Hayes, M., Thanakrishnan, G., Peters, M. (2009). Coma and seizures due to gas emboli following extubation. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 16(2), 344-345. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Hayes, M., Saad, N. (2009). Right trochlear and left oculomotor palsies. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 16(11), 1464, 1512. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Leyton, C., Piguet, O., Savage, S., Burrell, J., Hodges, J. (2012). Neural correlates of impaired naming and repetition in Logopenic Progressive Aphasia. 8th International Conference on Frontotemporal Dementia, Manchester, UK.

2016

  • Hsieh, S., Caga, J., Leslie, F., Shibata, M., Daveson, N., Foxe, D., Ramsey, E., Lillo, P., Ahmed, R., Devenney, E., Kiernan, M., et al (2016). Cognitive and Behavioral Symptoms in ALSFTD: Detection, Differentiation, and Progression. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, 29(1), 3-10. [More Information]
  • Bae, J., Ferguson, M., Tan, R., Mioshi, E., Simon, N., Burrell, J., Vucic, S., Hodges, J., Kiernan, M., Hornberger, M. (2016). Dissociation of structural and functional integrities of the motor system in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and behavioral-variant frontotemporal dementia. Journal of Clinical Neurology, 12(2), 209-217. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Forrest, S., Bak, T., Hodges, J., Halliday, G., Kril, J. (2016). Expanding the phenotypic associations of globular glial tau subtypes. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, 4, 6-13. [More Information]
  • Kamminga, J., Leslie, F., Hsieh, S., Caga, J., Mioshi, E., Hornberger, M., Ballard, K., Kiernan, M., Hodges, J., Burrell, J. (2016). Syntactic comprehension deficits across the FTD-ALS continuum. Neurobiology of Aging, 41, 11-18. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Halliday, G., Kril, J., Ittner, L., Gotz, J., Kiernan, M., Hodges, J. (2016). The frontotemporal dementia-motor neuron disease continuum. The Lancet, 388(10047), 919-931. [More Information]
  • Foxe, D., Leyton, C., Hodges, J., Burrell, J., Irish, M., Piguet, O. (2016). The neural correlates of auditory and visuospatial span in logopenic progressive aphasia and Alzheimer's disease. Cortex, 83, 39-50. [More Information]

2015

  • Taswell, C., Villemagne, V., Yates, P., Shimada, H., Leyton, C., Ballard, K., Piguet, O., Burrell, J., Hodges, J., Rowe, C. (2015). 18F-FDG PET Improves Diagnosis in Patients with Focal-Onset Dementias. Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 56(10), 1547-1553. [More Information]
  • Walton, C., O’Callaghan, C., Hall, J., Gilat, M., Mowszowski, L., Naismith, S., Burrell, J., Shine, J., Lewis, S. (2015). Antisaccade errors reveal cognitive control deficits in Parkinson’s disease with freezing of gait. Journal of Neurology, 262(12), 2745-2754. [More Information]
  • Kamminga, J., Kumfor, F., Burrell, J., Piguet, O., Hodges, J., Irish, M. (2015). Differentiating between right-lateralised semantic dementia and behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia: An examination of clinical characteristics and emotion processing. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 86(10), 1082-1088. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Piguet, O. (2015). Lifting the veil: How to use clinical neuropsychology to assess dementia. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 86(11), 1216-1224. [More Information]
  • Leslie, F., Hsieh, S., Caga, J., Savage, S., Mioshi, E., Hornberger, M., Kiernan, M., Hodges, J., Burrell, J. (2015). Semantic deficits in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, 16(1-2), 46-53. [More Information]

2014

  • Burrell, J., Hornberger, M., Vucic, S., Kiernan, M., Hodges, J. (2014). Apraxia and Motor Dysfunction in Corticobasal Syndrome. PloS One, 9(3), e92944. [More Information]
  • Geevasinga, N., Burrell, J., Hibbert, M., Vucic, S., Ng, K. (2014). C9ORF72 familial motor neuron disease - frontotemporal dementia associated with lung adenocarcinoma and anti-Ma2/Ta antibodies: a chance association. European Journal of Neurology, 21(4), e31-e33. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Hodges, J., Rowe, J. (2014). Cognition in corticobasal syndrome and progressive supranuclear palsy: A review. Movement Disorders, 29(5), 684-693. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Sapey-Triomphe, L., Leyton, C., Burrell, J., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2014). Degradation of emotion processing ability in corticobasal syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. Brain, 137, 3061-3072. [More Information]
  • Devenney, E., Homberger, M., Irish, M., Mioshi, E., Burrell, J., Tan, R., Kiernan, M., Hodges, J. (2014). Frontotemporal Dementia Associated With the C9ORF72 Mutation A Unique Clinical Profile. JAMA Neurology, 71(3), 331-339. [More Information]
  • Po, K., Leslie, F., Gracia, N., Bartley, L., Kwok, J., Halliday, G., Hodges, J., Burrell, J. (2014). Heritability in frontotemporal dementia: more missing pieces? Journal of Neurology, 261(11), 2170-2177. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Parratt, K., Lueck, C. (2014). Job variation in advanced training in adult neurology in Australia and New Zealand: A follow-up study. Internal Medicine Journal, 44(6), 554-561. [More Information]
  • Huang, N., Hornberger, M., Hodges, J., Burrell, J. (2014). Measuring disease progression in corticobasal syndrome. Journal of Neurology, 261(8), 1598-1605. [More Information]

2013

  • Burrell, J., Hornberger, M., Villemagne, V., Rowe, C., Hodges, J. (2013). Clinical Profile of PiB-Positive Corticobasal Syndrome. PloS One, 8(4), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Hodges, J. (2013). Could immunological mechanisms trigger neurodegeneration in frontotemporal dementia? Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 84(9), 946-946. [More Information]
  • Cushing, N., Jang, J., O'Connor, C., Burrell, J., Clemson, L., Hodges, J., Mioshi, E. (2013). Disability in atypical parkinsonian syndromes is more dependent on memory dysfunction than motor symptoms. Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, 19(4), 436-440. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Carpenter, R., Hodges, J., Kiernan, M. (2013). Early saccades in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, 14(4), 294-301. [More Information]

2012

  • Lillo, P., Mioshi, E., Burrell, J., Kiernan, M., Hodges, J., Hornberger, M. (2012). Grey and White Matter Changes across the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-Frontotemporal Dementia Continuum. PloS One, 7(8), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Leyton, C., Piguet, O., Savage, S., Burrell, J., Hodges, J. (2012). Neural correlates of impaired naming and repetition in Logopenic Progressive Aphasia. 8th International Conference on Frontotemporal Dementia, Manchester, UK.
  • Burrell, J., Homberger, M., Carpenter, R., Kiernan, M., Hodges, J. (2012). Saccadic abnormalities in frontotemporal dementia. Neurology, 78(23), 1816-1823. [More Information]
  • Leyton, C., Piguet, O., Savage, S., Burrell, J., Hodges, J. (2012). The Neural Basis of Logopenic Progressive Aphasia. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 32, 1051-1059. [More Information]

2011

  • Kiernan, M., Vucic, S., Cheah, B., Turner, M., Eisen, A., Hardiman, O., Burrell, J., Zoing, M. (2011). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The Lancet, 377(9769), 942-955. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Vucic, S., Kiernan, M. (2011). Isolated bulbar phenotype of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, 12(4), 283-289. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Kiernan, M., Vucic, S., Hodges, J. (2011). Motor Neuron dysfunction in frontotemporal dementia. Brain, 134(9), 2582-2594. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Yiannikas, C., Rowe, D., Kiernan, M. (2011). Predicting a positive response to intravenous immunoglobulin in isolated lower motor neuron syndromes. PloS One, 6(10), e27041-e27041. [More Information]
  • Leyton, C., Villemagne, V., Savage, S., Pike, K., Ballard, K., Piguet, O., Burrell, J., Rowe, C., Hodges, J. (2011). Subtypes of progressive aphasia: Application of the international consensus criteria and validation using b-amyloid imaging. Brain, 134(10), 3030-3043. [More Information]

2010

  • Burrell, J., Hodges, J. (2010). From FUS to fibs: What's new in frontotemporal dementia? Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 21(2), 349-360. [More Information]

2009

  • Burrell, J., Hayes, M., Thanakrishnan, G., Peters, M. (2009). Coma and seizures due to gas emboli following extubation. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 16(2), 344-345. [More Information]
  • Burrell, J., Hayes, M., Saad, N. (2009). Right trochlear and left oculomotor palsies. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 16(11), 1464, 1512. [More Information]

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