West Orange, NJ. September 17, 2012. At the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Centers in San Diego, California. Jelana Stojanovic, PhD, was awarded the Research Award for Best Poster for "Neuroimaging and Cognition using Nearest Infrared Spectroscopy in Multiple Sclerosis." Dr. Stojanovic is a postdoctoral fellow in Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation. Her fellowship is funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Dr. Stojanovic, who is also an instructor at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, was first author of the award-winning poster, which was co-authored by three other neuroscientists from Kessler Foundation: Glenn Wylie, DPhil, Gerard.T. Voelbel, PhD, and John DeLuca, PhD, vice president of Research & Training.
The poster described a study using functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) to evaluate working memory performance in people with and without multiple sclerosis. Results showed significant differences in frontal lobe activity between controls and individuals with MS. The latter group exhibited lower oxyhemoglobin levels as task difficulty increased, indicating greater difficulties handling more complex cognitive activities. "We know that people with MS have difficulties with working memory," said Dr. Stojanovic. "This study shows how MS affects how cerebral resources are utilized."
Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, director of Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research at the Foundation said, "This line of work is very important because it helps us understand the neurofunctional substrates underlying working memory impairment in persons with MS. The greater understanding we have of the impairment itself, the more capable we will be of developing interventions to improve cognition and overall quality of life."
About MS Research at Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation's cognitive rehabilitation research in MS is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National MS Society and Kessler Foundation. Scientists in Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation have made important contributions to the knowledge of cognitive decline in MS. Clinical studies span new learning, memory, executive function, attention and processing speed. Research tools include innovative applications of fMRI and virtual reality. Among recent findings are the benefits of cognitive reserve; correlation between cognitive performance and outdoor temperatures; the efficacy of short-term cognitive rehabilitation using modified story technique; and the correlation between memory improvement and cerebral activation on fMRI.
About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation, a large public charity in the field of disability, conducts rehabilitation research in mobility and cognition that advances the care of people with multiple sclerosis, brain injury, stroke and spinal cord injury. Kessler Foundation is one of six centers in the U.S. to have NIDRR-funded model systems for traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. Kessler Foundation Program Center fosters new approaches to the persistently high rates of unemployment among people disabled by injury or disease. Targeted grant making funds promising programs across the nation. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, people recovering from catastrophic injuries and stroke, and young adults striving for independence are among the thousands of people finding jobs and training for careers as a result of the commitment of Kessler Foundation.
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