Projects

2017

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.

2016

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.

Epilepsy may have a large varierty of causes, amongst others is may develop after a stroke. Within this project, we study post-stroke epilepsy using high field (7T) MRI.

To gain more insight in accelerated cognitive aging in epilepsy, we are performing a prospective study to investigate the time course of this disease, i.e. we study these patients not only after, but also before and during cascadic decline of certain aspects of cognition.

Functional MRI offers a high spatial but low temporal resolution. EEG, on the other hand, can directly catch the (fast) electrical component of neuronal activity, but has limited spatial precision. In this project, we combine these 2 modalities to obtain complementary information.

MACA-E stands for ‘MRI study of Accelerated Cognitive Aging in Epilepsy’. The notion of accelerated cognitive aging (ACA) as a specific form of cognitive impairment in epilepsy is at the basis of the Neu3CA program, but is based on clinical experience rather than systematic investigation. The MACA-E study aims to investigate how prevalent ACA in epilepsy is, and what (specific) brain (network) abnormalities are associated with it.

TMS is an FDA-approved treatment modality for depression. This means we know that it works in clinical practise, but not exactly how. To gain more understanding, we use fMRI and DTI to study depression patients before, during and after a series of TMS treatments. Better understanding of the mechanisms of TMS in depression may also help to improve other TMS application, for example to treat cognitive impairments in epilepsy.

Cortical thickness is a marker for the amount of nerve fibers that locally originate. Abnormalities in cortical thickness may thys indicate abnormal white matter and structural network impairments.

One of the hallmarks of cognitive aging is increased difficulty in switching between tasks. Also mental speed is affected. In this project, we investigate these issues using neuropsychological testing, and look at their relation with epilepsy.

2015

Continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) is a clinically very effective mode of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Within this project, we are investigating the effectiveness of cTBS to treat epilepsy and also hope to learn more about its actual mechanisms of action

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a method to (electrically) stimulate the brain by sending an electro-magnetic (EM) field through the skull using a coil. In this project, we simulate how the EM-fields couple into the tissue (macroscopically), and what their effect may be on neurons and neuronal micro-circuits.

Functional MRI data can be used to assess functional connectivity in the brain. If 2 brain regions show synchronous activity , we say that the are functionally connected. However, functional networks are dynamic: the degree of synchronicity may change over time, and regions that were in sync first may now be anti-correlated. Furthermore, the activity in one brain region may to some extent drive the activity in another brain region (cause-effect relation).