About Dr John Parratt

I am interested and devoted to identifying pathogenic mechanisms and perhaps causation of the enigmatic neuroimmunological diseases that include multiple sclerosis, autoimmune encephalitis and vasculitis. Our current search focuses upon identifying novel serum and CSF antibodies that identify specific targets in these diseases and potentially unlock novel mechanisms of disease development.

My research is designed to identify the mechanisms and causes of the neuroimmunological diseases. A lot of this work focuses on multiple sclerosis and the other demyelinating disorders. My vision is to use a multi-modal approach to identify groups of patients with specific disease mechanisms and CNS targets that can be fully elucidated to develop individualised therapies. For example in MS, with collaborators at the George Institute, we are undertaking an epidemiological analysis of MS (approximately 3000 patients city-wide) to determine the phenotype of MS amongst different ethnic groups, to refine these phenotypes using clinical and radiological analysis and then seek specific autoantibodies in particular groups using immunohistochemical methods developed at the University of Sydney. When we find specific autoantibodies against the brain and spinal cord, we can refer these findings back to the histopathology of the disease (which we study using autopsy specimens) and determine whether these new targets may be relevant. If so, animal models will be developed to determine pathogenesis. Similarly, we seek novel immune mechanisms in other diseases that may have an inflammatory basis such as complex regional pain syndrome, Miller-Fisher Syndrome, Autoimmune encephalitis, acute onset psychosis (post-infectious) and so on.

I am a clinical neurologist with research interests in several fields. I am trained in epidemiology and have completed a PhD studying the epidemiology of MS in Scotland. I am also interested in laboratory work and recently received the inaugural Neil and Norma Hill Fellowship to study MS at the University of Sydney. I have been trained in neuropathology by Professor John Prineas, who has contributed seminally to the histopathological analysis of MS. I have published on MS and other neurological diseases and am building a network of epidemiological, laboratory and clinical collaborations that will facilitate the comprehensive study of these neuroimmunological diseases prospectively.

Selected publications

For a full list of Dr Parratt's publications please see his Sydney Medical School Academic Profile page: link here.