Dr. Ekaterina Dobryakova to investigate neural mechanisms during learning in individuals with and without clinical depression
East Hanover, NJ – May 25, 2022. Kessler Foundation received a five-year $1,897,605 grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health, to study neural mechanisms associated with learning in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) with and without clinical depression. Ekaterina Dobryakova, PhD, senior research scientist, is lead on the study titled, “MRI markers of feedback timing during learning in individuals with TBI with and without clinical depression.”
“During learning when feedback is presented immediately, individuals with TBI have shown learning deficits and altered brain activity,” says Dr. Dobryakova, Center for Traumatic Brain Injury Research at Kessler Foundation. She conducts clinical research in populations with cognitive dysfunction caused by TBI and multiple sclerosis, incorporating the latest techniques available at the research-dedicated Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation.
“At this time, no study has examined the neural mechanisms of learning in individuals with TBI who have depression. However, individuals who have TBI and depression are at a greater risk for learning dysfunction and poor rehabilitation outcomes since learning impairment greatly hinders rehabilitation outcomes. Therefore, there is a great need to fill this research gap,” Dr. Dobryakova explains.
The identification of neural mechanisms in people with TBI and depression will convey new knowledge about the effect of depression on the injured brain, including interventions concerning the effectiveness of feedback and its timing, according to Dr. Dobryakova. “Our research will broaden fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system associated with learning in TBI as well as support the development of interventions for other clinical populations that require rehabilitation and have a high occurrence of depression,” she concludes.
Kessler Foundation is actively recruiting volunteers for this research study and other disabling TBI conditions. Find out more at https://kesslerfoundation.org/research/studies/traumatic-brain-injury. Funding: Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health. Program under award # 1R01-NS121107-01. For more information, visit: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health, seeks fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system. It uses that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease for all people. NINDS is a division of the National Institutes of Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the largest biomedical research agency in the world.
About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility, and long-term outcomes--including employment--for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities.