The candidate's application provides the requisite training to establish a clinical research career committed to identify the susceptibility factors in the cognitive comorbidity of epilepsy which is in line with NIH Curing Epilepsy Benchmarks. The candidate is a clinical pediatric neuropsychologist who is proposing to obtain cross-disciplinary training from a neurologist lead co-mentor, neuropsychologist lead co-mentor and distinguished panel of expert mentors and contributors in advanced MRI techniques, developmental cognitive neuroscience, neuropsychology, and biostatistics. This is a cross-sectional study of 50 children with localization related epilepsy who will be matched to healthy controls for age, gender, and SES. Sophisticated neuroscience methods will be used to investigate the functional and structural neuroanatomy of verbal working memory. Working memory, language, and other cognitive domains will be examined by conducting neuropsychological testing, and then all children will participate in functional and structural neuroimaging tasks. It is hypothesized that children with epilepsy will have specific weaknesses in working memory and show greater deviance in the structure and function of brain regions activated. These results will be crucial for developing an informed model of specific brain based cognitive impairments to base and measure future treatments against. This training will enable the candidate to obtain unique cross-disciplinary training using integrated neuroimaging and neuropsychology methods. The candidate will also be well-situated to transition this methodology into other neurodevelopmental disorders over the duration of her career.

Public Health Relevance

Children with epilepsy often experience behavioral and cognitive difficulties. One area of difficulty is executive functioning which is a set of skills important for efficient task performance. This study characterizes the neural network of one aspect of executive functioning, namely working memory, in children with epilepsy using neuroimaging and neuropsychological measures.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Type
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
Project #
5K23NS065121-04
Application #
8640213
Study Section
NST-2 Subcommittee (NST)
Program Officer
Fureman, Brandy E
Project Start
2011-04-01
Project End
2016-03-31
Budget Start
2014-04-01
Budget End
2015-03-31
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$164,955
Indirect Cost
$12,219
Name
Children's Research Institute
Department
Type
DUNS #
143983562
City
Washington
State
DC
Country
United States
Zip Code
20010
Berl, Madison M; Zimmaro, Lauren A; Khan, Omar I et al. (2014) Characterization of atypical language activation patterns in focal epilepsy. Ann Neurol 75:33-42
Croft, Louise J; Baldeweg, Torsten; Sepeta, Leigh et al. (2014) Vulnerability of the ventral language network in children with focal epilepsy. Brain 137:2245-57