Research on cognitive deterioration
The ‘Ca’ in Neu3Ca stands for Cognitive aging. Over half of the patients with epilepsy encounters cognitive limitations and accelerated deterioration of their cognitive functioning. Researchers want to explain this phenomenon. It might possibly also lead to more insight in cognitive aging in general.
Researchers try to map changes in the brain using MRI, EEG and MEG examinations of the brain and advanced simulations of brain networks. Using these, neuromodulation protocols for treatment are developed.
Applying real-time fMRI feedback
Neuromodulation offers possible perspectives for intervention when the patient shows accelerated cognitive decline. The idea is to, from the functional MRI, help the patient stimulate areas in the brain by offering a specific stimulus in the MRI.
The biggest challenge is that relatively little is known about how magnetic pulses affect the brain. Nervus Vagus Stimulation in the case of therapy resistant epilepsy is known to yield good results, and effects are achieved with transcranial magnetic stimulation. But we do not exactly know how these techniques work. Once we understand this, treatment methods can be further improved.