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FRIMED-Klinisk medisin og folkehelse

Multi-modal imaging: The importance of fiber connections for cognitive function, brain activity and brain structure in research and clinic

Tildelt: kr 2,4 mill.





2007 - 2011


The main objectives of this project are 1) integration of informations from different neuroimaging methods (diffusion tensor imaging [DTI], structural MRI, functional MRI [fMRI], event-related potentials [ERP]) and refined cognitive measures, 2) use these methods to understand the biological foundation for specific memory and executive functions in normal and clinical populations. Specifically, we will 1) develop cognitive tests suitable for disentangling specific memory and executive processes, that can be employed both in a behavioral, fMRI and ERP setting and that can be related to DTI. Recollection, in contrast to familiarity memory, appears to mature late and decline early in life, and is also especially vulnerable to pathological conditions. Thus, b y understanding the neural systems supporting these processes, we will obtain valuable information about biological foundations of normal and pathological memory changes, 2) implement procedures for integration of multiple imaging modalities and cognitive data. By use of functional imaging we will isolate specific brain areas involved in different types of memory, i.e. recollection and familiarity, and executive functions, and then study the characteristics of the fibers connecting these areas in particip ants and patients. This may represent a new window onto normal and pathological brain-cognition relationships. These approaches will be used to test how DTI relates to brain structure, brain activity, and cognition, in development, aging and in patients w ith mild cognitive impairment, a condition often leading to Alzheimer Disease (AD). Further, we will study how Apolipoprotein E (APOE), an AD susceptibility gene, affects brain fibers. This is especially interesting since APOE is a cholesterol transporter gene, and cholesterol is the main isolator of fibers. The project will yield knowledge about specific cognitive functions at multiple biological and behavioral levels.


FRIMED-Klinisk medisin og folkehelse