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2006 Grant - Simpson
Novel Tools for Assessing Dynamic Brain Networks and Cognition in Dementia
Gregory V. Simpson, Ph.D.
University of California
San Francisco, California
2006 Everyday Technologies for Alzheimer Care
The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain in which thought processes take place. This area consists of nerve cells and the pathways that connect them. In Alzheimer's disease and other brain disorders, the orchestration of brain activity in large sections of the cerebral cortex may become dysfunctional.
To study this loss of function, researchers use imaging tools, such as electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). EEG and MEG scans capture changes in brain activity patterns as people perform cognitive tests. Such images can indicate changes that occur millisecond by millisecond.
However, these imaging techniques have typically required hours of analysis to interpret, thus limiting their practical effectiveness. George V. Simpson, Ph.D., and colleagues propose to develop computer programs that will make the process of analyzing brain activity images much faster. Ultimately, results of this study could help improve diagnostic tools for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The results may also help doctors more effectively identify optimal treatments for dementia and track the progress of those treatments over time.