Research team

Translational Neurosciences (TNW)

Expertise

Investigating the effect of spaceflight on the brain of astronauts and the effect of vestibular disorders on the brain of vestibular patients.

Effect of hearing loss and vestibular decline on cognitive function in older subjects: correlation with cortical auditory evoked potentials and mri brain volume changes. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

The world population has been aging dramatically, with 12% aged 60 years or older, and a rising number developing dementia. Yet, until now no cure or therapy to slow down the disease has been identified. Recent studies have established that hearing loss increases the risk for developing dementia. Because hearing loss can be treated with a hearing aid or cochlear implantation, this could potentially delay the onset of dementia. Many studies have reported improvement in cognition after hearing rehabilitation, but this might have been caused by just hearing the mostly verbal tests better. Many studies have demonstrated that balance organ function, located in the inner ear, also has an effect on cognition. However, while hearing loss and balance organ function loss often occur simultaneously, it has not been systematically evaluated in older adults. Our aim is to study the effect of hearing loss and balance organ function loss on learning and memory (i.e. cognition) in older subjects (55 years or older) and patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. We will do so by systematically evaluating hearing and vestibular function in these subjects, by using a cognitive assessment tool that is adapted to a potentially hearing impaired population, by using objective measurements of electrical activity in the auditory cortex evoked by sound and by analyzing MRI volume changes in relevant areas of the brain to detect who is at risk for developing cognitive impairment.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Space flight induced neuroplasticity studied with advanced magnetic resonance imaging methods. 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2017

Abstract

The overall objective of our research is to determine whether biomarkers of neuroplasticity in vestibular signal processing can be found using the model of microgravity. More specific the following objectives are set: a) to obtain knowledge on how astronauts adapt to microgravity at the level of the brain b) to use the model of microgravity to gain insight in which specific regions of interest are involved in space motion sickness, spatial disorientation, vertigo, and convergence of otolith and semicircular canal signals. c) to understand mechanisms of neuroplasticity in patients with vestibular dysfunction

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Lab for Equilibrium Investigations and Aerospace (LEIA)

Space flight induced neuroplasticity studied with advanced magnetic resonance imaging methods. 01/10/2013 - 30/09/2015

Abstract

The overall objective of our research is to determine whether biomarkers of neuroplasticity in vestibular signal processing can be found using the model of microgravity. More specific the following objectives are set: a) to obtain knowledge on how astronauts adapt to microgravity at the level of the brain b) to use the model of microgravity to gain insight in which specific regions of interest are involved in space motion sickness, spatial disorientation, vertigo, and convergence of otolith and semicircular canal signals. c) to understand mechanisms of neuroplasticity in patients with vestibular dysfunction

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Lab for Equilibrium Investigations and Aerospace (LEIA)