New Frontiers for Neurosciences Research
Jane and John Justin Neurosciences Center at Cook Children's recently finalized a research relationship with the Department of Bioengineering at The University of Texas at Arlington. Funded by the Dodson Neuro Research Endowment, the Cook Children's Neurosciences Research Center will add postdoctoral research fellows, Ph.D. students and interns to a growing team dedicated to neuroscience research.
Through this collaboration, Cook Children's will welcome investigators from all over the world to work on multiple projects in epilepsy and movement disorders, with our first postdoctoral fellow joining January 2020. Yanlong Song, Ph.D., a graduate of Iowa State University in kinesiology followed by one-year postdoctoral training in movement disorders at University of Virginia, will work on a NIH-funded project under the mentorship of Christos Papadelis, Ph.D., director of the Neurosciences Research Center. The current project will investigate the characterization and mapping of functional and structural changes in the brains of children with cerebral palsy as a result of brain plasticity using magnetoencephalography and transcranial magnetic stimulation technologies.
The research center recently acquired the latest technology in high-density electroencephalography (HD-EEG). The Philips Geodesic EEG system accommodates 256 channels which measure cerebral electrical activity, allowing more precise localization of the epileptogenic zone, the area that generates seizures in children with drug-resistant epilepsy. This technology can significantly improve the presurgical management of patients and improve their surgical outcome through more accurate preoperative localization and less invasive evaluation and treatment. The system also can be used for mapping normal functional areas of the brain, such as motor, sensory and language areas. This technology will further support multiple research projects designed to characterize brain plasticity following rehabilitation, as well as mapping healthy functional areas surrounding brain tumors, potentially limiting postoperative deficits in these cases.
Cook Children's Neurosciences Research Center also recently collaborated with colleagues at Dell Children's Hospital and the University of Texas Southwestern to create the Texas Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Consortium. With the largest number of MEG labs in the US, Texas is fortunate to have numerous well-established MEG experts calling our state home. The Texas MEG Consortium hopes to foster collaborative MEG research throughout Texas, further delineating the value of this powerful technology. The consortium will hold its inaugural meeting on Friday, March 6 in coordination with the Texas Pediatric Neuroscience Network conference in Austin March 6-8, 2020.