Étude des réseaux affectifs et cognitifs par imagerie multimodale dans le cerveau sain et épileptique


Boris Bernhardt

Centre universitaire de santé McGill [CUSM]


Domaine : neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 1

Concours 2017-2018

The medial temporal lobe (MTL) is a brain network that plays an important role in memory, spatial navigation, and social cognition. Pathology of this region has been observed in many different neurological conditions, including temporal lobe epilepsy, the most common drug-resistant epilepsy in adults.
In addition to seizures, many epileptic patients present with difficulties in memory and emotional wellbeing, likely due to the presence of a brain lesion in the MTL. Many patients undergo surgery to treat the seizes. However, some may show further memory deficits and emotional problems after the operation, which may ultimately impact on their quality of life.

This program is centered on assessing whether these problems can be understood through a comprehensive evaluation of the anatomy and wiring of the different elements in the MTL.  For the next 4 years, I will derive a novel map of the MTL in the human brain. I will carry out high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging studies in healthy individuals and epileptic patients, to study brain anatomy and wiring. I will correlate MTL markers with memory scores and markers of emotion regulation, obtained from behavioral studies. By studying patients before/after surgery, I will evaluate consequences of temporal lobe surgery on brain networks mediating these cognitive and affective skills. 

The program builds on my expertise in studying the MTL and my experience in assessing how neuroimaging markers relate to cognitive outcomes in healthy and epileptic populations. This work will provide a foundational account of how impairments following surgery can be understood and prevented. In particular, integrated investigations of the functional and psychological aspects of MTL anatomy will advance theoretical perspectives of the role of this brain network in memory and emotional processing. Our framework may help to predict surgical outcomes in epileptic patients, and identify candidates suitable for targeted rehabilitative therapies.