NeuroPlatform is a multidisciplinary brain research program involving academic and commercial partners from both the Netherlands and Belgium. We combine technical and medical expertise to get the most out of our research, and carry out joint projects around topics of Neurology, Neuropsychiatry, and Ageing and vulnerable patients (see the matrix below). Our technical challenges are Neuromodulation, Neuroimaging and Monitoring (EEG and sensoring).
Neurological and neuropsychiatric impairments have a high incidence and prevalence. When also taking vulnerable groups into account such as patients with pathological ageing, 1 out of 4 people in the Netherlands have brain disorders (Hersenstichting Nederland).
Several challenges exists in this area, specifically diagnostic challenges (e.g. poor reproducibility of questionnaires for diagnosis of autism), treatment navigation challenges (e.g. when to apply which treatment in depression) and treatment challenges (e.g. failure of pharmacotherapy in epilepsy). For some of the brain conditions no treatment at all is available such as in neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer).
Our approach is based on the assumption that technological solutions are possible for the described clinical challenges and that close collaboration between technical and clinical partners is essential to keep our research as relevant and aligned with clinical needs as possible. This dual approach (technical/clinical) is apparent at all levels of our team (management, scientific supervision, PhD students).
Matrix of the medical/clinical and technical challenges addressed in the NeuroPlatform:
Neurology (e.g. epilepsy, stroke)
Neurolopsychiatry (e.g. depression, autism)
Ageing and vulnerable groups
Neuromodulation (including invasive and non-invasive neurostimulation)
Multimodal MRI Neuroimaging
Monitoring (including high-density EEG and intelligent sensoring)
Neurofeedback is the concept of making someone aware of his own neuronal activity. The idea is that by making someone aware of his mental state, he may learn how to control or modify this. fMRI neurofeedback typically involves monitoring the activity in a certain region-of-interest. Within the Neu3CA program, we are developing fMRI neurofeedback for (complete) neuronal networks, with the aim of treating cognitive impairments.
EEG (elecotro-encephalograpy) provides a direct window on neuronal activity: it captures the rapid changes in electical fields generated by neuronal firing. In this project, we combine EEG data with data-mining techniques and graph theory to find EEG-markers of neurological diseases.