Using multimodal imaging for the diagnosis and prognostication of adolescent mood disorders and ADHD.


The goal of this project is to develop methods for the accurate diagnosis and prognostication of patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other mood disorders. BDC is currently running an international clinical trial on ADHD treatment response - the international study to predict optimized treatment in ADHD (iSPOT-A). This project will involve using multiple types of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and resting-state and task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to inform and guide clinical decisions at a personalised level.


Dr Mayuresh Korgaonkar, Professor Stuart Grieve

Research Location

Westmead - Westmead Institute for Medical Research

Program Type



Adolescence is an important neurodevelopmental time, and coincides rapid structural and functional changes brain. Adolescence is also a peak time for the onset of mental health conditions. In Australia, 14% of children and adolescents (aged 4-17 years) experience a mental health condition. This equates to at least two children in every classroom. The most common condition in children and adolescents is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). There are currently no useful biomarkers for predicting response to treatment in ADHD and diagnosis is based on clinical observations. Since ADHD has been shown to have profound accompanying brain changes, MRI measurements that reflect these changes have the potential to alter how ADHD is diagnosed and treated.

This PhD project offers the opportunity to work on the iSPOT-A dataset, and also to be involved in the development of novel advanced neuroimaging techniques to better map the neural circuitry underlying ADHD. The over-riding goal of the project is to develop a new comprehensive MRI-based test for diagnosis, treatment prediction in prognostication in ADHD.

Additional Information

In the Brain Dynamics Centre we focus on conditions of mental health that affect our young people and can persist into adulthood.
Our goals are to:
• Find out what is causing conditions of mental health
• Develop tests for early signs of illness, so that early intervention and prevention become a reality
• Identify predictors of what treatment is best suited to each individual person

This project has a number of possible directions that would depend on the background of the candidate - students with Psychology, Medical Science, Engineering, Computer Science and Medical backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

PhD students will be actively involved in assessment of human participants. They will be trained in acquisition of behavioural and brain imaging data, and the use of sophisticated statistical procedures. When based at the Brain Dynamics Centre, PhD students have a strong team-based support network. The BDC comprises a team of 60 members, including academic scientists, clinicians, PhD students and post-doctoral researchers.

The Brain Dynamics Centre
The goal of the Brain Dynamics Centre research is to shed light on the workings of the human brain, and the cause and treatment of brain-related disorders

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Brain imaging, MRI, cognition, diffusion tensor imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, Ageing, Genetics, EEG, functional MRI, fMRI, Psychiatry, psychology, ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, adolescent mental health

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 168

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