Dr Tracy Melzer

PhD

MRI Research Manager

New Zealand Brain Research Institute, Christchurch

Research Fellow

Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch

Phone: (+64 3) 378 6075

Current Role

As MRI Research Manager, I oversee all imaging at the NZBRI. This provides me with the opportunity to become involved in a wide range of neurological research, including child development, mild traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, neurodegenerative diseases, and more. 

As a Research Fellow in the Department of Medicine, my primary focus is on the development and application of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) techniques to advance our understanding of cognitive decline in Parkinson’s disease.

Research Interests

  • MRI (structural, diffusion, perfusion, functional)
  • Metabolic and amyloid PET imaging (positron emission tomography)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Cognitive impairment

Education

  • PhD in Medicine, University of Otago, NZ
  • BSc (Hons) in Medical Physics, University of Canterbury, NZ
  • BA (Hons) in Physics, University of Montana, USA

Interests

  • Spending time with my wife and two daughters
  • Fishing
  • Running
  • Tramping
  • Surfing
  • Cycling

Publications

Provided on request for non-commercial personal use by researchers.

2018

Download Brain activation during processing of genuine facial emotion in depression: Preliminary findings.
Groves, S. J., Pitcher, T. L., Melzer, T. R., Jordan, J., Carter, J. D., Malhi, G. S., Johnston, L.C., Porter, R. J. (2018). Brain activation during processing of genuine facial emotion in depression: Preliminary findings.  Journal of Affective Disorders, 225, 91-96. 10.1016/j.jad.2017.07.049

2017

Almuqbel, M. M,  Leeper, G. J.,  Petelo, J. F., Page , T. J.,  Melzer, T. R. (2017).  MRI artefact in the rectum caused by ingested orthodontic brackets. Radiography. 10.1016/j.radi.2017.10.002
Download Attention and regional gray matter development in very preterm children at age 12 years.
Lean, R. E., Melzer, T. R., Bora, S., Watts, R., Woodward, L. J. (2017). Attention and regional gray matter development in very preterm children at age 12 years. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. 10.1017/S1355617717000388

2016

Download Metabolite ratios in the posterior cingulate cortex do not track cognitive decline in Parkinson's disease in a clinical setting.
Almuqbel, M., Melzer, T.R., Myall, D.J., MacAskill, M.R., Pitcher, T.L., Livingston, L., Wood, K., Keenan, R.J., Dalrymple-Alford, J.C., Anderson, T.J. (2016). Metabolite ratios in the posterior cingulate cortex do not track cognitive decline in Parkinson's disease in a clinical setting. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 22, 54-61. 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2015.11.008
Download Different PD-MCI criteria and risk of dementia in Parkinson’s disease: Four year longitudinal study.
Wood, K., Myall, D.J., Livingston, L., Melzer, T.R., Pitcher, T.L., MacAskill, M.R., Geurtsen, G.J., Anderson, T.J., Dalrymple-Alford, J.C. (2016). Different PD-MCI criteria and risk of dementia in Parkinson’s disease: Four year longitudinal study. npj Parkinson's Disease, 2, 15027. 10.1038/npjparkd.2015.27

2015

Download The New Zealand 1986 very low birth weight cohort as young adults: mapping the road ahead.
Darlow, B. A., Horwood, L. J., Woodward, L. J., Elliott, J. M., Troughton, R. W., Elder, M. J., Epton, M. J., Stanton, J. D., Swanney, M. P., Keenan, R., Melzer, T. R., McKelvey, V. A., Levin, K., Meeks, M. G., Espiner, E. A., Cameron, V. A., Martin, J. (2015). The New Zealand 1986 very low birth weight cohort as young adults: mapping the road ahead. BMC Pediatrics, 15, 90. 10.1186/s12887-015-0413-9
Download Deep grey matter MRI abnormalities and cognitive function in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
Debernard, L., Melzer, T. R., Alla, S., Eagle, J., Van Stockum, S., Graham, C., Osborne, J. R., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., Miller, D. H., Mason, D. F. (2015). Deep grey matter MRI abnormalities and cognitive function in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging. 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2015.10.00
Download Decreased regional cerebral perfusion in moderate-severe obstructive sleep apnoea during wakefulness.
Innes, CRH, Kelly, PT, Hlavac, M, Melzer, TR, Jones, RD (2015). Decreased regional cerebral perfusion in moderate-severe obstructive sleep apnoea during wakefulness. Sleep, 38, 699-706. 10.5665/sleep.4658
Download Tracking Parkinson's disease over one year with multimodal magnetic resonance imaging in a group of older patients with moderate disease.
Melzer, T.R., Myall, D.J., MacAskill, M.R., Pitcher, T.L., Livingston, L., Watts, R., Keenan, R.J., Dalrymple-Alford, J.C., Anderson, T.J. (2015). Tracking Parkinson's disease over one year with multimodal magnetic resonance imaging in a group of older patients with moderate disease. PLOS ONE, 10, e0143923. 10.1371/journal.pone.0143923

2014

Download Reduced grey matter perfusion without volume loss in early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
Debernard, L., Melzer, T. R., Van Stockum, S., Graham, C., Wheeler-Kingshott, C. A., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., Miller, D. H. , Mason, D.F. (2014). Reduced grey matter perfusion without volume loss in early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 85. 10.1136/jnnp-2013-305612
Download Comparing cerebral perfusion in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease dementia: an ASL-MRI study.
Le Heron, C. J., Wright, S. L., Melzer, T. R., Myall, D. J., MacAskill, M. R., Livingston, L., Keenan, R. J., Watts, R., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C. , Anderson, T.J. (2014). Comparing cerebral perfusion in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease dementia: an ASL-MRI study.  Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, 34, 964-970. 10.1038/jcbfm.2014.40

2013

Download Cross-Sectional Area of the Anterior Belly of the Digastric Muscle: Comparison of MRI and Ultrasound Measures.
Macrae, P., Jones, R., Myall, D., Melzer, T. , Huckabee, M. (2013). Cross-Sectional Area of the Anterior Belly of the Digastric Muscle: Comparison of MRI and Ultrasound Measures. Dysphagia, 28, 375-380. 10.1007/s00455-012-9443-8
Download The evolution of diffusion tensor imaging in Parkinson’s disease research.
Melzer, T. (2013). The evolution of diffusion tensor imaging in Parkinson’s disease research. Movement Disorders, 28, 1316. 10.1002/mds.25566
Download White matter microstructure deteriorates across cognitive stages in Parkinson disease.
Melzer, T. R., Watts, R., MacAskill, M. R., Pitcher, T. L., Livingston, L., Keenan, R., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., Anderson, T. J. (2013). White matter microstructure deteriorates across cognitive stages in Parkinson disease. Neurology, 80, 1841-1849. 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182929f62

2012

Download Grey matter atrophy in cognitively impaired Parkinson’s disease.
Melzer, T. R., Watts, R., MacAskill, M. R., Pitcher, T. L., Livingston, L., Keenan, R., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., Anderson, T. J. (2012). Grey matter atrophy in cognitively impaired Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 83(2), 188-194. 10.1186/2047-9158-1-17
Download Reduced striatal volumes in Parkinson’s disease: a magnetic resonance imaging study.
Pitcher, T. L., Melzer, T. R., MacAskill, M. R., Graham, C. F., Livingston, L., Keenan, R. J., Watts, R., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., Anderson, T. J. (2012). Reduced striatal volumes in Parkinson’s disease: a magnetic resonance imaging study. Translational Neurodegeneration, 1(1), 17. 10.1186/2047-9158-1-17

2011

Download Characterizing mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease.
Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., Livingston, L., MacAskill, M. R., Graham, C., Melzer, T. R., Porter, R., Watts, R., Anderson, T. J. (2011). Characterizing mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease. Movement Disorders, 26(4), 629-636. 10.1002/mds.23592
Download Do complex models increase prediction of complex behaviours? Predicting driving ability in people with brain disorders.
Innes, C. R. H., Lee, D., Chen, C., Ponder-Sutton, A. M., Melzer, T. R., Jones, R.D. (2011). Do complex models increase prediction of complex behaviours? Predicting driving ability in people with brain disorders.  Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology,  64, 1714-1725.
Download Arterial spin labelling reveals an abnormal cerebral perfusion pattern in Parkinson’s disease.
Melzer, T. R., Watts, R., MacAskill, M. R., Pearson, J. F., Rüeger, S., Pitcher, T. L., Livingston, L., Graham, C., Keenan, R., Shankaranarayanan, A., Alsop, D. C., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., Anderson, T. J. (2011). Arterial spin labelling reveals an abnormal cerebral perfusion pattern in Parkinson’s disease. Brain,  134(3), 845-855. 10.1093/brain/awq377

2010

Download The MoCA: Well-suited screen for cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease.
Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., MacAskill, M. R., Nakas, C. T., Livingston, L., Graham, C., Crucian, G. P., Melzer, T. R., Kirwan, J., Keenan, R., Wells, S., Porter, R. J., Watts, R., Anderson, T.J. (2010). The MoCA: Well-suited screen for cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease. Neurology, 75, 1717-1725. 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181fc29c9

2008

Download Bio-medical X-ray imaging with spectroscopic pixel detectors.
Butler, A., Anderson, N., Tipples, R., Cook, N., Watts, R., Meyer, J., Bell, A., Melzer, T., Butler, P. (2008). Bio-medical X-ray imaging with spectroscopic pixel detectors.  Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment,  591, 141-146. 10.1016/j.nima.2008.03.039
Download Spectroscopic biomedical imaging with the Medipix2 detector.
Melzer, T. R., Cook, N. J., Butler, A. P., Watts, R., Anderson, N., Tipples, R., Butler, P.H. (2008). Spectroscopic biomedical imaging with the Medipix2 detector. Australasian Physical & Engineering Science in Medicine, 31(4), 300-306.

Abstracts and Short papers

2016

Horne, K, Myall, DJ, Livingston, L, Grenfell, SF, Melzer, TR, Pitcher, TL, MacAskill, MR, Anderson, TJ, Dalrymple-Alford, JC (2016). Risk of dementia in Parkinson’s disease: Towards optimal short cognitive testing.  Proceedings of the 34th International Winter Conference on Brain Research, 1.
Melzer, TR, Keenan, RJ, Myall, DJ, Kaur, G, Livingston, L, Horne, K, Marsh, S, MacAskill, MR, Dalrymple-Alford, JC, Anderson, TJ (2016). Amyloid imaging and cognition in Parkinson’s disease: Interim report.  Proceedings of the 34th International Winter Conference on Brain Research, 3.

2015

Almuqbel, M, Melzer, TR, Myall, DJ, MacAskill, MR, Livingston, L, Pitcher, TL, Dalrymple-Alford, JC, Anderson, TJ (2015). Longitudinal magnetic resonance spectroscopy in Parkinson’s disease. Proceedings of the 21st Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping.
Melzer, TR, Myall, DJ, MacAskill, MR, Livingston, L, Pitcher, TL, Watts, R, Keenan, RJ, Dalrymple-Alford, JC, Anderson, TJ (2015). White matter lesions contribute to future dementia in Parkinson’s disease. Proceedings of the 21st Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping.

2014

Almuqbel, M., Melzer, T., Myall, D., MacAskill, M., Livingston, L., Wood, K., Pitcher, T., Dalrymple-Alford, J. , Anderson, T. (2014). Cognitive status in Parkinsons disease characterised by magnetic resonance spectroscopy.  Proceedings of the International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research (AWCBR), Queenstown, New Zealand,  32, 34.
Melzer, T., Myall, D., Livingston L., , Wood, K., Pitcher, T., Keenan, R., MacAskill, M., Dalrymple-Alford, J. , Anderson, T. (2014). White matter lesions - a factor in developing dementia in patients with Parkinsons disease.  Proceedings of the International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research (AWCBR), Queenstown, New Zealand, 32, Abstract 3.5.
Myall, D., Wood, K., Livingston, L., Pitcher, T., Melzer, T., MacAskill, M., Anderson, T. , Dalrymple-Alford, J. (2014). Individualised medicine: Predicting dementia in Parkinsons disease.  Proceedings of the International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research (AWCBR), Queenstown, New Zealand,  32, Abstract 8.1.
Wood, K., Myall, D., Livingston, L., Melzer, T., Pitcher, T., MacAskill, M., Anderson, T. , Dalrymple-Alford, J. (2014). Comparing mild cognitive impairment criteria in Parkinsons disease: influence on dementia onset.  Proceedings of the International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research (AWCBR), Queenstown, New Zealand, 32, Abstract 6.4.

2013

Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., Livingston, L., Melzer, T. R., Wood, K., Goh, T. J., Pitcher, T. L., Graham, C. F., Keenan, R. J., MacAskill, M. R. , Anderson, T.J. (2013). Current perspectives on Parkinsons disease: Cognition to the fore.  Proceedings of the 31st Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research 2013, Queenstown,  Volume 31, Abstract 29.
Dalrymple-Alford, J., McCurrie, C., Anderson, T., Watts, R., MacAskill, M., Pitcher, T., Livingston, L., Keenan, R. , Melzer, T. (2013). Domain specific cognitive dysfunction in Parkinson’s Disease and associated pattern of grey matter atrophy.  Proceedings of the Movement Disorders Society 17th International Congress - Sydney, Abstract 572..
Debernard, L., Alla, S., Melzer, T., Van Stockum, S., Graham, C., Dalrymple-Alford, J., Miller, DH, Mason, D (2013). Cortical perfusion is associated with cognitive function in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis patients (Abstract).  Multiple Sclerosis,  19(S11), 171. 10.1177/1352458513502429
Grenfell, S., Melzer, T. R., Young, B., Wang, A, Livingston, L., Keenan, R. J., MacAskill, M. R., Anderson, T. J. , Dalrymple-Alford, J.C. (2013). Reduced default mode network connectivity and autobiographical memory in mild cognitive impairment.  Proceedings of the 31st Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research 2013, Queenstown, Volume 31, Abstract 27.
Melzer, T. R., Watts, R., MacAskill, M., Pitcher, T., Livingston, L., Keenan, R., Dalrymple-Alford, J. , Anderson, T. (2013). Serial DTI and cognitive decline in Parkinsons disease. Proceedings of the Movement Disorders Society 17th International Congress, Sydney,  Movement Disorders, 28 Supplement 1, 555.
Wood, K., Livingston, L., Melzer, T. R., Pitcher, T. L., MacAskill, M. R., Anderson, T. J. , Dalrymple-Alford, J.C. (2013). Criteria for Parkinson’s disease with mild cognitive impairment associated with increased progression to dementia.  Proceedings of the 31st Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research 2013, Queenstown,  Volume 31, 58.