Multi-modal investigation of cognitive and brain network integrity in epilepsy

Project full name: Novel risk factor assay for Alzheimer's disease - Multi-parametric quantification of HPG/HPT-axis function

Project page at OUS


Project description

This project is a multi-modal investigation of cognitive functioning and functional brain integrity in patients with focal epilepsies. The approach is motivated by the observation that patients with epileptic disorders are at greater risk for developing neurodegenerative dementias, such as Alzheimer's disease, than the population as a whole. Importantly, the primary functional symptom of Alzheimer's disease - cognitive dysfunction - is an important aspect of many epileptic patients' struggles. The progression of cognitive detererioration in epilepsy may thus be a window into the early phases of dementia-related degeneration of functional brain circuits.

In the study, we employ a number of modern neuroimaging techniques alongside cognitive assessment. The methods range include:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Structural, functional and GABA spectroscopy.
  • Electroencephalography (EEG): 128-channel resting-state and event-related recording.
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET): Amyloid flutemetamol scans.
  • Traditional neuropsychological assessment.
  • Digital cognitive assessment (CANTAB).
  • Blood biomarkers.

Outcome measures include:

  • Source-reconstructed EEG-based connectivity metrics and network characteristics.
  • Quantitative amyloid PET concentration metrics.
  • Cognitive performance across a wide range of domains.


Local investigators: Aksel Erichsen1,2, Christoffer Hatlestad-Hall1, Vebjørn Andersson1, Ira Haraldsen1

National collaborators: Erik Taubøll3, Kjell Heuser3, Mona-Elisabeth Revheim2, Marte Roa Syvertsen4

International collaborators: Fernando Maestú5, Ernesto Pereda5,6, Ricardo Bruña Fernandez5, Hanna Renvall7, Laura Hughes8, James Rowe8

Partner organisations: Norwegian Epilepsy Association, EpilepsiNett, Digital Life Norway


Investigators' affiliations:

1 Cognitive Health Research Unit
2 Department of Nuclear Medicine, OUS
3 Department of Neurology, OUS
4 Department of Neurology, Drammen Hospital, Vestre Viken
5 Laboratory of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
6 Universidad de La Laguna, Spain
7 HUS Neurocenter, University of Helsinki, Finland
8 MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge, England, UK



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