Towards biomarkers of cognitive training in traumatic brain injury: a translational approach

01 January 2015 → 31 December 2020
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Behavioural neuroscience
    • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Engineering and technology
    • Biomedical image processing
    • Biomedical instrumentation
    • Biomedical modelling
    • Biomedical signal processing
magnetic resonance imaging Traumatic brain injury Concussion Biomarker diffusion imaging
Project description

The ability to withhold and stop actions, and divide, switch and sustain attention are processes of

executive functioning, which are impaired in traumatic brain injury (TBI). Our previous studies on TBI

have shown that impairments in cognitive and executive control functions are accompanied by a

disrupted neural connectivity characterized by white matter damage. In the present project, we will

investigate whether a training program can promote improvement in executive functioning. Using

an array of state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, including multicomponent

relaxometry and quantitative magnetization transfer imaging, we will investigate

whether changes in cognition are supported by neuroplastic modulations in brain structure and

connectivity. Furthermore, we will investigate the biological correlates of the white matter changes

observed in patients by means of an animal model of TBI with a similar long-term cognitive training

protocol. Our findings may ultimately lead to the identification of biomarkers that provide

invaluable information on the mechanisms through which a training can alleviate cognitive

symptoms in TBI.