Researcher biography

Professor Reutens was appointed as the inaugural director of the Centre for Advanced Imaging in 2008. Prior to that he was the Professor of Neuroscience at Monash University and Director of Neurology at Southern Health. He is also a clinical neurologist specialising in epilepsy and is a senior staff specialist at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. He directs the Australian Mouse Brain Mapping Consortium.

Research in the Reutens Lab focuses on neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, stroke and dementia, and the development of imaging methods to better understand, diagnose and manage them.

Work in the Epilepsy Research Laboratory includes the study of epileptogenesis and antiepileptogenic therapies and the study of antiepileptic diets in animal models such as zebrafish and mice. A range of genetic (e.g. transgenic mice and morpholino knockdown) and acquired models (e.g. hyperthermia, pilocarpine status epilepticus and controlled cortical injury) are used.  We have used quantitative MRI to study the association between structural changes associated with prolonged seizures (status epilepticus) and their association with the subsequent development of epilepsy in an animal model. Early MRI changes were observed in the hippocampus, a region strongly linked to epilepsy. These changes were also linked to activation of inflammatory mechanisms, which are now being studied as new treatment targets. The findings may be used to help predict the likely course of developing epilepsy and thereby contribute to the development of diagnostic and disease-modifying strategies.

Studies in patients with epilepsy aim to unravel the mechanisms that lead to epileptic discharges, memory disturbance and changes in autonomic function in temporal lobe epilepsy. Simultaneous electrical and MRI recordings of brain function (EEG-fMRI) are used to examine the brief electrical discharges occurring between seizures (interictal spikes) and their effect on neural activity. This method has been used to identify a brain state that predisposes to spike generation. Members of the Reutens group, Quang Tieng, Simone Bosshard and Min Chen, won the 2014 International Seizure Prediction Challenge, ahead of a field of 504 contestants, in a competition run by the American Epilepsy Society, the NIH and NINDS. We have also developed spike and seizure detection software and were highly placed in the International Seizure Detection Challenge, achieving a 94% seizure detection accuracy rate.

Several members of the group are developing new imaging methods. These include the development of ultra-low field MRI and new imaging methods that are sensitive to neuronal currents, for studying water diffusion and its relationship to the structure of white matter tracts, for measuring magnetic susceptibility and for decoding brain activity. In collaboration with Marc Ruitenberg and Garrie Arumugam, the laboratory also studies the effects of novel anti-inflammatory therapies in spinal cord injury and ischemic brain injury. Studies in cancer include the development of new molecular imaging agents and radiolabelling strategies for brain cancer and image reconstruction and analysis methods in MRI-PET. We have also established collaborations in the area of Comparative Oncology: the study of spontaneous cancers in companion animals. Studies in ageing and dementia include the development of new methods for characterising neurovascular coupling in vascular dementia, studies of changes in connectivity and brain function  and the development of new molecular imaging agents for diagnosing neurodegenerative disorders.

Group Members

See the Reutens laboratory page for current group members.

 

$4m Qld Government investment in Queenland's only epilepsy clinic | Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (Channel 9) from MetroNorth HHS on Vimeo.

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Featured projects Duration
Novel MRI approaches to map focal cortical dysplasia in focal epilepsy
NHMRC Project Grant
20162018
Modelling and analysis of anomalous diffusion in magnetic resonance imaging
UQ Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
20142016
ACRF Facility for Molecular Imaging Agents in Cancer
Australian Cancer Research Foundation
20152022
Portable three-dimensional ultra-low field MR
ARC Discovery Project Grant
20172018