Interpretation of Brain Connectivity in CNS Diseases for Improvement of Drug Development

This PhD is conducted in collaboration between the Biomedical Engineering Group at DTU and the company H. Lundbeck A/S that develops pharmaceuticals for brain diseases.

The overall purpose of the PhD project is to increase our knowledge on the neuronal communication of the brain obtainable from electrophysiological (e.phys.) recordings. Of particular interest is how to use the e.phys. recordings for understanding the neuronal communication during cognitive performance.

Eventually, the acquired knowledge will be used for testing the effect of new drugs on test animals.

The e.phys. recordings investigated in the PhD are acquired directly from the brain as local field potentials (LFP) representing activity from a group of neurons and as single neuron firing in live animals as well as in the form of scalp encephalography (EEG) from humans.

Increased synchronization between brain areas, the power of fast oscillations and 'phase-amplitude-coupling' in relevant brain structures such as prefrontal cortex is known to correlate with performance in a variety of cognitive tasks, including tasks involving attention and working memory load.

Pre-attentive and attentive processing have been reported to be altered in nearly all CNS diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.

The aim of the project is to investigate a broad range of e.phys. measures with respect to cognitive performance and to different vigilance states. The acquired new knowledge will provide a basis for mechanistic testing of the effects of new drugs.

About Ingeborg

Ingeborg holds a Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark. She wrote her thesis within electrocardiography (ECG) at the Biomedical Signal Processing Group at DTU Elektro, where a system of wireless patch ECG recorders was compared with standard 12-lead ECG.