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Trial registered on ANZCTR

Registration number
Ethics application status
Date submitted
Date registered
Date last updated
Date data sharing statement initially provided
Type of registration
Prospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Biomarker Study: an observational study to assess differential changes that occur in the brains of participants with various neurodegenerative diseases using MRI technology.
Scientific title
Use of advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to improve understanding and diagnosis of the major neurodegenerative diseases.
Secondary ID [1] 296851 0
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
Alzheimer's disease [AD] 310757 0
Frontotemporal dementia [FTD]
310833 0
Parkinson's disease [PD]
310834 0
motor neuron disease [ALS]
310835 0
progressive supranuclear palsy [PSP]
310836 0
corticobasal degeneration [CBD] 310837 0
Dementia with Lewy Bodies 310838 0
Condition category
Condition code
Neurological 309449 309449 0 0
Neurodegenerative diseases
Neurological 309509 309509 0 0
Alzheimer's disease
Neurological 309510 309510 0 0
Parkinson's disease
Neurological 309511 309511 0 0

Study type
Patient registry
Target follow-up duration
Target follow-up type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
Two Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans: 3 Tesla (T) and 7T scans by a qualified radiographer at the Centre for Advanced Imaging, University of Queensland.

-Approximately 30-45 minutes of acquisition time each scan.
-3T and 7T scans can be done on a separate visit if required.

Cognitive assessments, such as ACE III, MMSE, RAVLT, and/or SYDBAT will be conducted prior to MRI scans.
Intervention code [1] 313131 0
Not applicable
Comparator / control treatment
Healthy age matched participants

Study procedures will be the same across all participants.

Patient groups will be compared against healthy individuals with no diagnosed neurodegenerative diseases.

Control group

Primary outcome [1] 308417 0
Exploratory Outcome
Disease specific pathological patterns in the potential areas of interest (Putamen, substantia nigra, dentate, motor cortex, red nucleus, and pallidum) using QSM and DTI techniques.

Timepoint [1] 308417 0
Single time point
Secondary outcome [1] 354919 0
Exploratory Outcome
Results from 7 Tesla MRI will provide more detailed information of brain tissue changes.

We expect to reveal further disease specific pathological patterns by measuring (i) changes brain tissue iron deposition in defined brain areas, (ii) volume changes of hippocampal sub-fields, and (iii) changes of tissue micro structure in the corpus callosum,
Timepoint [1] 354919 0
Single time point

Key inclusion criteria
o Visual and auditory acuity, adequate for neuropsychological testing
o English language proficiency, adequate for comprehensive neuropsychological testing
o Willing to undergo repeated MRIs (3T and 7T MRIs)
o Healthy control: without any history of neurological or major psychiatric illness; and who are free of any cognitive symptoms (e.g. Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) score greater than or equal to 26/30, Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination (ACE) score greater than or equal to 88/100, Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) equal to 0 ) ; and whose general health is good enough to lie comfortably in an MRI scanner (e.g. does not have severe arthritis or breathlessness etc.)
o Patients group will be divided into 7 different subgroups based on their clinical diagnosis.*
o Patient Group 1: Alzheimer’s disease (AD), including prodromal states such as mild cognitive impairment
o Patient Group 2: Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients
o Patient Group 3: Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB)
o Patient Group 4: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD)
o Patient Group 5: Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)
o Patient Group 6: Corticobasal degeneration (CBD), including patients with undifferentiated akinetic/rigid syndromes, i.e. where the assessing neurologist is confident of a degenerative disease but where the clinical features preclude a more precise diagnosis such as PD, PSP, CBD
o Patient Group 7: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
o * Diagnosis will be based on patient and carer interview & questionnaire, physical examination, brain scans, cognitive tests (MMSE, ACE, CDR) and/or motor function tests (ALS functional rating scale revised (ALSFRS-R), Unified Parkinson’s disease rating scale (UPDRS), Hoen and Yahr).
Minimum age
40 Years
Maximum age
80 Years
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
o Pregnancy#
o Known history of claustrophobia#
o Contra-indication to MRI#: cardiac pacemakers, aneurysm clips, metal implants, hearing aid/implant, electrical neurostimulators, joint replacement etc. in accordance with the standard operating procedures of the Centre for Advanced Imaging, UQ. #NOTE: Participants will be re-interviewed by a radiographer on the day of imaging at the Centre for Advanced Imaging, UQ.
o History of other neurological diseases (including clinical stroke, multiple sclerosis, tumour, epilepsy, or any other disease) that could confound interpretation of the MRI scan data
o History of major psychiatric illness (psychosis, major depression)
o Any medical condition that could make scanning hazardous/uncomfortable (e.g. difficulty lying flat due to cardiac, respiratory or rheumatological disease)
o For the patient group only
o Unavailability of a close relative/companion who can assist the patient to attend the research facility.
o Advanced cognitive impairment rendering the patient untestable on neuropsychological tests or unable to follow the instructions for MRI scanning.

Study design
Case control
Statistical methods / analysis

Recruitment status
Not yet recruiting
Date of first participant enrolment
Date of last participant enrolment
Date of last data collection
Sample size
Accrual to date
Recruitment in Australia
Recruitment state(s)

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category [1] 301423 0
Name [1] 301423 0
University of Queensland
Address [1] 301423 0
Queensland Brain Institute

The University of Queensland
St. Lucia
Country [1] 301423 0
Primary sponsor type
University of Queensland
Queensland Brain Institute

The University of Queensland
St. Lucia
Secondary sponsor category [1] 301101 0
Name [1] 301101 0
Address [1] 301101 0
Country [1] 301101 0

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Ethics committee name [1] 302156 0
The Mater Misericordiae Ltd Human Research Ethics Committee (MML HREC) (EC00332)
Ethics committee address [1] 302156 0
Level 2 Aubigny Place
Raymond Terrace
South Brisbane QLD 4101
Ethics committee country [1] 302156 0
Date submitted for ethics approval [1] 302156 0
Approval date [1] 302156 0
Ethics approval number [1] 302156 0

Brief summary
This research project will investigate new markers of altered brain structure in various forms of neurodegenerative diseases using 3 Tesla (3T) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as well as more highly sensitive 7 Tesla MRI.

Each of the neurodegenerative diseases has a characteristic profile (pathology) when the brain is examined under a microscope. Obviously, it is not an option though to remove the brain of a living person for a microscopic examination so we are trying to use MRI brain scans to capture information that could act as indicators for the types of brain pathology that cause these diseases. This is why this project aims to study a range of different degenerative diseases: we predict that the different diseases will be associated with different patterns of change detected with the MRI scans.

Standard MRI scans such as those used presently in medical practice cannot make precise diagnoses of specific degenerative brain diseases. In fact, one of the main uses of standard clinical MRI is to rule out non-degenerative diseases such as strokes or tumours. Among the different degenerative diseases themselves, however, standard MRI only provides limited information.

In this study, we will utilise a more powerful scanning technology, such as 7T MRI, to provide ultra-high resolution images. This means that we may be able to detect very small tissue changes in the brains that may have not been revealed previously.

On the day of MRI scan, participants will be asked to perform some pen and paper tests of their mental abilities (such as memory, thinking, and language) in order to related the scan to their illness stage. MRI scan will take place once these neuropsychological tests are completed.

We aim, with this research, to develop new types of MRI scans that may give more information about the precise diagnosis of degenerative brain diseases. As well as improving diagnostic accuracy, we also hope this project may identify new information about how these diseases affect the brain.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Public notes

Principal investigator
Name 89318 0
Prof Peter Nestor
Address 89318 0
Queensland Brain Institute (Building 79)
The University of Queensland
St. Lucia, QLD 4072
Country 89318 0
Phone 89318 0
+61 (07) 3346 6389
Fax 89318 0
Email 89318 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 89319 0
Dr Soo Lee
Address 89319 0
Queensland Brain Institute (Building 79)
The University of Queensland
St. Lucia, QLD 4072
Country 89319 0
Phone 89319 0
+61 (07) 3443 2615
Fax 89319 0
Email 89319 0
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 89320 0
Prof Peter Nestor
Address 89320 0
Queensland Brain Institute (Building 79)
The University of Queensland
St. Lucia, QLD 4072
Country 89320 0
Phone 89320 0
+61 (07) 3346 6389
Fax 89320 0
Email 89320 0

Data sharing statement
Will individual participant data (IPD) for this trial be available (including data dictionaries)?
What data in particular will be shared?
3T and 7T raw imaging data
de-identified medical record
When will data be available (start and end dates)?
start: Immediately following publication
end: no end date determined
Available to whom?
researchers who provide a methodologically sound proposal
researchers who have their study approved by a Human Research Ethics Committee
Available for what types of analyses?
any research purpose
How or where can data be obtained?
access subject to approvals by Principal Investigator
arrangements for material held in other locations and the use of that materials may be documented and negotiated
What supporting documents are/will be available?
No other documents available
Summary results
No Results