Dr Rachael Birch

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Phone: +61 2 9931 9160

Personal Profile Link

http://3dn.unsw.edu.au/people/miss-rachael-birch

Qualifications

Bachelor of Psychology (Hons), Master of Brain and Mind Sciences, PhD

DCRC role / affiliation

DCRC-ABC, Researcher

Other roles / affiliations

Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry, University of New South Wales

Profile

Rachael is a registered psychologist and research assistant within the Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry (3DN) at UNSW Australia. Her research interests include neuropsychology, neuropsychiatry, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Rachael completed her PhD at 3DN in 2015, investigating cognitive and motor function among adult males who carry premutation expansions of the fragile X gene. Individuals who carry premutation expansions of the fragile X gene are at risk of developing a specific dementia syndrome in mid to late life. The syndrome is called fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), and is characterised by progressive decline in cognitive and motor functioning. This can include the development of tremor, balance problems, parkinsonsism, neuropsychiatric disorder and dementia. In her role at 3DN, Rachael continues to integrate data obtained from neuropsychological, neuromotor, and psychiatric assessments, together with structural neuroimaging and geneticmeasures to determine the interrelationships between clinical, radiological and molecular markers in the premutation and FXTAS.

Projects