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National Multiple Sclerosis Society Funds Neuroimaging Study of Memory Dysfunction in MS

Headshot of Dr. Ekaterina Dobryakova

Researchers at Montclair State University and Kessler Foundation conduct novel neuroimaging study to develop effective treatments to restore memory function in individuals with multiple sclerosis 

East Hanover, NJ, December 10, 2020. Researchers at Montclair State University and Kessler Foundation have received funding totaling $651,997 from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to measure memory-related abilities in individuals with and without multiple sclerosis (MS) for clues to how such cognitive processes are altered by MS. Joshua Sandry, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Montclair State and Ekaterina Dobryakova, PhD, research scientist in the Center for Traumatic Brain Injury Research at Kessler Foundation, collaborate on the 4-year study, titled “Neuroimaging of Hippocampally Mediated Memory Dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis.” 

Dr. Sandry, director of the Cognition and Neurocognitive Disorders Research Laboratory, at Montclair State, is principal investigator for this project. Dr. Dobryakova will oversee the clinical study, including advanced neuroimaging studies performed at the research-dedicated Rocco Ortenzio Center for Neuroimaging at Kessler Foundation.

Memory problems are a common cognitive disability that negatively affect the quality of life of individuals with MS. Despite the urgent need to develop effective treatments, this challenge has been met with mixed success. Lack of knowledge about the underlying cognitive and brain processes responsible for memory problems in MS hinders clinical progress.

This study aims to translate research from cognitive neuroscience to the MS research community to help identify which underlying cognitive and brain processes are impacted by MS. Specifically, researchers will investigate how changes in working memory and structural changes in the hippocampus may contribute to the memory problems that affect individuals with MS.

“To our knowledge, this is the first investigation to utilize a strong translational approach to begin to pinpoint the interrelationship of working memory, brain functioning, and long-term memory problems in MS,” said Dr. Dobryakova. “This cutting-edge research may provide a strong foundation to our understanding of memory loss, and lead to effective interventions for restoring lost function.”

Funding: National Multiple Sclerosis Society RG-1901-33304 (RG-1901-33304-KF); RG-1907-34364

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About MS Research at Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation's cognitive rehabilitation research in MS is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, National MS Society, Consortium of MS Centers, the Patterson Trust, Biogen Idec, Hearst Foundations, the International Progressive MS Alliance, and Kessler Foundation. Under the leadership of John DeLuca, PhD, senior VP for Research & Training, and Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, director of the Center for Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research, scientists have made important contributions to the knowledge of cognitive decline in MS, developed new treatments, and begun the exploration of the intersection of cognitive and motor dysfunction. Clinical studies span new learning, memory, executive function, attention and processing speed, cognitive reserve, emotional processing, employment and cognitive fatigue. Research tools include innovative applications of neuroimaging, mobile devices, eye-tracking, EEG, robotics, and virtual reality. Neuroimaging studies are conducted at the research-dedicated Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation. Kessler researchers and clinicians have faculty appointments in the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

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 opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. Learn more by visiting http://www.KesslerFoundation.org.

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Contacts

Carolann Murphy, PA; 973-324-8382;CMurphy@KesslerFoundation.org

 

 

Submitted by nmiller on Thu, 12/10/2020 - 16:03