Pre-Conference Workshops | Advanced Trainee Day

The Organising Committee is pleased to announce a number of pre-Conference workshops to be held on Wednesday 7 November 2018 at Crown Promenade. The Advanced Trainee Day will also be held at Crown Promenade on Saturday 10 November 2018.

These have been planned to complement the full program and are available to registered delegates of the Conference. We encourage you to book early as places are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis. Please register for the below workshops and the Advanced Trainee Day via the Registration Form.

Pre-Conference Workshops

Wednesday 7 November 2018
Crown Promenade


PresenteD BY: Dr John O’Brien

Time: 0900-1700hrs (full day workshop)
Cost: $360 inc GST 
Inclusions: Workshop sessions and morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea

Workshop details...

The use of neuroimaging and other biomarkers in those with suspected dementia has radically changed over the last decade, from that of simply ruling out other organic causes of cognitive decline, to providing important information to positively support the differential diagnosis of the main subtypes of dementia, especially at the early stages. Their use has also extended to application as surrogate outcome markers for clinical trials, especially those aimed at disease modification. Modalities currently in clinical use include CT, MRI, Perfusion SPECT, Glucose (FDG) PET, Dopaminergic (FP-CIT) SPECT or PET and Amyloid PET, though not all modalities are either available or reimbursed in all countries. CSF biomarkers are used clinically in some centres, whilst novel biomarkers, currently only for research applications, include Tau PET imaging and blood biomarkers.

This workshop is run by internationally recognised experts in the developing and clinical use of imaging and biomarkers for dementia. The workshop will provide a state of the art summary of the use of structural (CT and MR) imaging, perfusion and dopaminergic SPECT, FDG (metabolic) and amyloid PET and CSF biomarkers. Clinical and diagnostic guidelines incorporating such biomarkers will be summarised. This will be a very interactive workshop, with several opportunities to rate scans and discuss the application of biomarkers with the experts. In particular, we will include a session on the rating of medial temporal atrophy from CT or MR scans, which will be of considerable practical use to all those involved with assessing and diagnosing people with suspected dementia.

The aim is that those attending will become more familiar with which imaging modalities and biomarkers are available, when they might best be used clinically, and to gain skills and confidence in interpreting scans, most especially in relation to the presence or absence of medial temporal lobe atrophy.


Professor John T O’Brien, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge.

Professor Patricia Desmond, Professor of Neuroradiology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, The University of Melbourne.

Professor Chris Rowe, Professor and Director of PET, The Austin Hospital, The University of Melbourne.

Professor Colin Masters, Laureate Professor of Dementia Research,
Head, Neurodegeneration Division, The Florey Institute, The University of Melbourne.


  • 09:00 Registration and Coffee
  • 09:30 Introduction, Objectives, Overview of Imaging and other biomarkers and new diagnostic criteria for dementia (John O’Brien)
  • 10:10 Structural imaging: CT and MR How images are formed and what they can show (Patricia Desmond)
  • 10:50 Discussion
  • 11:00 Morning Break
  • 11:20 Practical rating of CT and MR scans, including medial temporal atrophy (Patricia Desmond)
  • 11:45 Discussion
  • 11:55 Perfusion and dopaminergic SPECT (John O’Brien)
  • 12:20 Discussion
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 13:30 Use of FDG (metabolic) PET (Chris Rowe)
  • 14:00 Discussion
  • 14:10 Amyloid and newer PET methods (Chris Rowe)
  • 14:40 Discussion
  • 14:50 Afternoon Break
  • 15:10 Imaging, blood and CSF biomarkers and their use to track disease progression (Colin Masters)
  • 16.10 Discussion
  • 16.30 Final plenary discussion (All speakers)
  • 16:45 Workshop concludes

*Please contact Naomi Wong to be added on the waitlist

WORKSHOP TWO: The Neuropsychiatry of Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease: Clinical update on diagnosis and management – FULLY BOOKED*

PRESENTED By: Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Unit

Time: 0900-1230hrs (half day)
Cost: $190 inc GST 
Inclusions: Workshop sessions, morning tea and lunch

Workshop details...

Aims: to provide a clinical update on the recognition, diagnosis and management of neuropsychiatric complications of Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.

Topics covered for both Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease:

  1. Update on clinical pathophysiology
  2. Update on clinical diagnosis of the neurological disorder;
  3. Diagnosis and treatment of: Anxiety, depression, other mood changes;
  4. Diagnosis and treatment of: Psychotic symptoms and psychosis;
  5. Diagnosis and treatment of: Cognitive impairment and dementia;

Format: Didactic lectures, including clinical vignettes and, where appropriate, imaging and video.

Presenters (professional biography):

Dr Dhamidhu Eratne graduated in medicine from the University of Auckland in 2007. After extensive experience in consultation-liaison psychiatry and the psychiatry of old age, he completed his two years of advanced training at the Neuropsychiatry Unit before obtaining his Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 2016. Dhamidhu is involved in research of biomarkers in neurodegenerative disease, and is also Research Fellow for a Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance flagship study, investigating the use of whole exome sequencing in complex neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr Samantha Loi graduated in medicine from Monash University in 2002 and obtained her Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 2011. She also completed Advanced Training in Psychiatry of Old Age in 2012, and her PhD in 2016. Dr Loi became a Lecturer with the Academic Unit of Psychiatry of Old Age, at the University of Melbourne in 2011 and has been involved in research in neurodegenerative diseases, specifically, in Huntington’s disease.

Associate Professor Jeffrey Looi: Jeffrey Looi, a clinical academic neuropsychiatrist, leads an international research network on structural neuroimaging biomarkers in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disease, the Australian US Scandinavian/Spanish Imaging Exchange (AUSSIE) and is Associate Professor at the Australian National University Medical School. He was a Fulbright Scholar at UCLA Medical School, a Karolinska Institute Visiting Researcher, and is Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne.

Professor Mark Walterfang is a consultant neuropsychiatrist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Professor of Neuropsychiatry at the University of Melbourne and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. He is lead consultant at the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s Huntington’s Disease Clinic, the world’s oldest continuously-running clinic of its tuype.

Professor Dennis Velakoulis is a consultant neuropsychiatrist and director of the Neuropsychiatry Unit, Royal Melbourne Hospital and with Professor Chris Pantelis set up what is now the Neuroimaging Arm of the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre. He has published over 200 Medline-indexed scientific papers. He continues to be involved in research into first-episode and established schizophrenia, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease and early-onset dementia.

Schedule (Half-day workshop):

  • 09:00-09:45 Neuropsychiatry of Parkinson’s Disease: clinical features 45 min
    Presenters: Jeffrey Looi, Dhamidu Eratne
  • 09:45-10:30 Neuropsychiatry of Parkinson’s Disease: management 45 min
     Presenters: Dhamidu Eratne, Jeffrey Looi
  • 10:30-10:45 Coffee Break
  • 10:45- 11:30 Neuropsychiatry of Huntington’s Disease: clinical features 45 min
    Presenters: Mark Walterfang, Samantha Loi
  • 11:30-12:15 Neuropsychiatry of Huntington’s Disease: management 45 min
    Presenters: Samantha Loi, Dennis Velakoulis
  • 12:15-12:30 Question and Answer
  • 12:30-13:30 Lunch break

*Please contact Naomi Wong to be added on the waitlist

Advanced Trainee Day

Saturday 10 November 2018
Crown Promenade

PresenteD BY John O’Brien and Rosie Watson 

Time: 0900-1230hrs (half day)
Cost: $360 inc GST 
Inclusions: Workshop sessions and morning tea

Workshop details...

Professor John T O’Brien is Professor of Old Age Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) National Specialty Lead for Dementia. He is an Emeritus NIHR Senior Investigator and Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences.
His research interests include the application of neuroimaging in old age psychiatry; dementia with Lewy bodies; the role of vascular factors in dementia and depression and clinical trials. He has been a member of the NICE Dementia Guideline group and is a Past President of the International College for Geriatric Psychoneuropharmacology (ICGP).

Rosie Watson is a Consultant Geriatrician with current appointments at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, including the Cognitive, Dementia and Memory Service and the Florey Institute of Neurosciences – The University of Melbourne. After completing her clinical training in geriatric medicine in Melbourne, she undertook her PhD studies at the Institute of Ageing and Health, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK investigating the use of MRI techniques in dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer’s disease. Her current research interest includes how the use of biomarkers can help better understand dementia, disease trajectories and improve the clinical diagnosis.


  • 09:00-10:30 Getting your Head Around Neuroimaging. Tips for Young
    Presenter: John O’Brien
  • 11:00-1230 Everything You Wanted to Know About LBD But Felt Too
    Embarrassed to Ask
    Presenter: Rosie Watson


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