Current Funded Research > Maryland
Feng Zhou, PhD
Johns Hopkins University
NMSS Area: Maryland Chapter
Award: Postdoctoral Fellowship
Mentor: Susan M. Courtney, Ph.D.
Term/Amount: 7/1/07-6/30/09; $98,747
“Neural basis of short-term memory and cognitive control dysfunction in multiple sclerosis” Understanding tissue damage that accompanies cognitive dysfunction in MS for clues to rehabilitating or preventing them.
Problems with memory and other cognitive symptoms affect many people with multiple sclerosis. Feng Zhou, PhD, is studying the tissue damage that might signify cognitive problems in 20 people with MS and 20 controls without MS.
Dr. Zhou’s team is examining these participants using imaging technology called functional MRI (fMRI) to find the brain areas that might be impacted by the disease. fMRI allows researchers to take active images of the brain while it is performing working memory tasks that require either maintaining or manipulating information. They also are using newly developed diffusion tensor imaging and magnetization transfer ratio imaging techniques to visualize nerve fibers that connect the brain areas identified by fMRI, and to quantify the damage to these never fibers.
Understanding the specific damage that accompanies cognitive dysfunction in MS will help to rehabilitate or prevent these problems in people with MS.