2019 Seminars

2019 CNRM Seminars

2019 Seminars 

December 2019 

Date: 12/03/19 
Chief, Human Cortical Physiology and Neurorehabilitation Section
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) 
Title: "Neural Substrates of Memory Consolidation: Candidate Biomarkers of Interest after TBI?"
Presentation Summary: Neural replay, spatiotemporal brain activity associated with task performance during rest, has been reported during sleep and linked to overnight memory consolidation. Wakeful replay contributes to memory formation in rodents (Genzel and Robertson, 2015) but its role in relation to skill formation or even presence in the context of human motor practice is not known. Here, we analyzed data collected in 31 subjects (Bonstrup et al., 2019) who learned a sequence of keypresses with the non-dominant left hand. Training consisted of 36 alternating practice and rest periods (10 seconds each) lasting a total of 12 minutes. MEG recordings were obtained to assess resting-state and task-induced brain activity dynamics. Support vector machine (SVM) classifiers were constructed for individual key-press events during practice and then used to identify replay of sequence-related MEG dynamics during wakeful rest periods (Kurth-Nelson et al., 2016). Replay was assessed over sixteen different timescales (25-2500ms) pertaining to biologically relevant replay durations (Olafsdottir et al., 2018). Replay events were observed as early as the first rest period, remained present over the 36 rest periods and for at least 5-minutes after the end of practice. Optimal replay duration was 50-100ms, with a majority of subjects showing peak replay rates at 75ms durations. Replay of the trained sequence during rest periods prior to performance asymptote predicted rapid offline consolidation of the new skill. Source analysis identified a distributed medial temporal and sensorimotor network underlying wakeful neural replay. We conclude that motor practice elicits sustained neural replay during wakeful rest intervals that predict early skill learning. These novel functional biomarkers of memory consolidation could be interesting to evaluate memory processing after TBI. 
Date: 12/11/19
Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Signaling
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), NIH
Title: "Neuroprotection by a Novel G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) Signaling Derived from Essential Fatty Acids"
Presentation Summary: N-docosahexaenoylethanoamine (synaptamide) is an endogenous metabolite derived from docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3), an omega-3 fatty acid highly enriched in the brain. At low nanomolar concentrations this DHA-metabolite promotes neurogenesis, neurite outgrowth and synaptogenesis in developing neurons, and attenuates the neuroinflammatory responses. Recently, GPR110 (ADGRF1), a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) that is highly expressed in neural stem cells and the brain during development, has been deorphanized to be a target receptor of synaptamide. The neurodevelopmental mechanism of synaptamide/GPR110 signaling also plays a significant role in the protection of adult nervous system, particularly after injury. The synaptamide bioactivity transmitted by newly deorphanized GPR110 may provide a novel target for neuroprotective control in CNS injuries including traumatic brain injury (TBI).

November 2019 

Date: 11/20/19 
Aviva Symes, Ph.D. 
Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Therapeutics
Uniformed Services University
Title: "Targeting the Brain Renin Angiotensin System to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury"
Presentation Summary: The brain specific renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is implicated in many pathophysiological processes in the central nervous system, including those that occur after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Several FDA approved drugs target the RAS to treat hypertension and cardiovascular disease and could be repurposed to treat TBI. Additionally, other drugs that activate a newer counter-regulatory arm of the RAS also have therapeutic potential. This seminar will provide an overview of the brain RAS, the drugs that modulate this system, and the beneficial effects of targeting the brain RAS to treat TBI in mice.

October 2019 

Date: 10/29/19
Clinical Investigator at the National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Commander in the Commission Corps of the U.S.
Adjunct faculty at the UNC-Chapel Hill
Title"Oxidized lipids as mechanism-based biomarkers in Post-traumatic headache and targeted substrate manipulation as a non-opioid strategy for treating chronic pain" 
Presentation Summary: Chronic Post-traumatic Headache (PTH) is among the most common and disabling sequelae of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Polyunsaturated fatty acids serve as substrates for production of oxidized lipids that regulate pain. Dr. Ramsden's group previously reported preliminary therapeutic efficacy for targeted manipulation of these dietary substrates in a small (n=67) randomized trial of patients with non-traumatic chronic headaches. During his seminar, Dr. Ramsden will present: 
  • New findings indicating that oxidized lipids hold potential as mechanism-based biomarkers for risk of transition from acute to chronic PTH
  • Results of a recently completed randomized controlled trial testing biochemical effects and therapeutic efficacy of targeted substrate manipulation in 182 participants with frequent episodic migraine
  • An ongoing multi-site randomized controlled trial testing these interventions in 120 participants with chronic PTH

September 2019 

Date: 09/10/19
Arthur J. and Marcella McCaffray Professor in Alzheimer’s Disease
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
University of Washington School of Medicine
Title: "Glymphatic Pathway Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Disease: Translational and Clinical Studies"
Presentation Summary: The glymphatic system contributes to the clearance of proteins, including tau, alpha synuclein, and amyloid beta, from the brain interstitium during sleep. Dr. Iliff's group has reported that glymphatic function is slowed in the aging and post-traumatic brain, and he will present new findings suggesting that impairment of glymphatic function promotes the formation of aggregates and aggregate propagation in mouse models of neurodegeneration. Lastly, Dr. Iliff will present on findings from studies in human subjects suggesting that impairment of glymphatic function may contribute to the development of neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.

August 2019 

Date: 08/23/19
Research Assistant Professor
Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University
Title"Functional Connectivity: Current and Future Directions" 
Presentation Summary: Since the discovery of the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) contrast there has been a considerable amount of work focusing on correlations of BOLD signals from two brain regions. The magnitude of the correlation indicates the level of functionally connectivity between the regions. Functional connectivity studies have shown that a single BOLD correlation assessment cannot accurately describe the brain because of its temporal dynamic characteristic. Capturing the time variations occurring in the brain is better assessed by a dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) approach. In this framework, dFC is represented by a sequence of correlations varying as time progresses. The dFC signal has revealed a new level of functional effects linked to known diseases. For instance, traumatic brain injury produces abnormal temporal variations of dFC which recover with time until the dFC temporal patterns become similar to healthy individuals. The dFC framework has also allowed the use of time-dependent techniques for the analysis of the brain. Dr. Vergara will present a summary of the neuroscience application of these newer methods that includes information theory, random matrices, and sequences of dFC mind states.

July 2019 

Title: "Advances in the CHIMERA Animal Model of Traumatic Brain Injury" 
Presentation Summary: Dr. Wellington's presentation will describe new studies using the Closed Head Impact Model of Engineered Rotational Acceleration (CHIMERA), an animal model of TBI that places equal emphasis on the biomechanical and neurological relevance to human TBI. She will also describe new design features for the CHIMERA platform and give an overview of her TBI translational activities spanning CHIMERA and human neurotrauma.  

June 2019 

Associate Professor; James and Gaye Pigott Endowed Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery
Research Director, The Sports Institute 
University of Washington, School of Medicine 
Title: "Combat-related Concussion: Understanding Trajectories of Long-term Clinical and Imaging Outcomes"
Presentation Summary: This presentation will feature findings from a prospective, observational, and longitudinal research study that followed Service Members from the point of injury in combat out to 1-year, 5-year, and, now, 10-year outcomes. Known as the EVOLVE study (EValuation Of mild TBI Long-term outcome in Active-Duty US Military and VEterans) the effort focused on elucidating the effects of mild brain injury sustained in combat to outcomes and connecting the dots through repeated evaluations over the first decade post-injury. Results from both the advanced neuroimaging and extensive battery of neurological, neuropsychological, and psychiatric outcomes collected in these patients will be presented.
Senior Investigator
Title"Mean Apparent Propagator (MAP) MRI: Potential Applications to Imaging TBI?" 
Presentation Summary: Dr. Basser will review their recent work, performed within CNRM, in developing and implementing a novel diffusion MRI pipeline to try to detect TBI in a clinical setting. 

 May 2019 

Co-Founder & Chief Science Officer
Title: "Cerebrovascular Assessments after Traumatic Brain Injury"
Presentation Summary: Dr. Hamilton’s presentation discussed the various capabilities of Neural Analytics’ Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound System. This portable system noninvasively assesses post-concussive cerebrovascular reactivity by measuring blood flow changes in the brain.
Brian Cox, Ph.D.
Professor of Pharmacology & Neuroscience, Uniformed Services University
Chair, CNRM’s Biospecimen Repository Steering Committee
Raha Dastgheyb, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Department of Neurology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Title: "Mass-Spectrometric Analysis of Lipids in Brain & Blood after TBI: Lipids as Potential Biomarkers for TBI"
Presentation Summary: This presentation will discuss findings from Dr. Cox's recently completed CNRM funded project, “Plasma Lipid Biomarkers for Traumatic Brain Injury.” This project compared blood lipid profiles among various subject groups:
  • Subjects with mild TBI and “injury positive” magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
  • Subjects with mild TBI and “injury negative” MRI scans
  • Age/gender-matched controls with no history of TBI
  • Impact-related TBI within civilian subjects
  • Blast-related TBI within military subjects
This project’s objective was to determine if changes in specific lipids or lipid profiles correlated with injury type (e.g., cause), severity, location, and clinical outcomes.  

April 2019 

Date: April 11, 2019
Michael McCrea, Ph.D., ABPP
Professor of Neurosurgery and Neurology
Co-Principal Investigator of the Advanced Research Core within the NCAA–DoD CARE Consortium
Title: “Imaging and Blood Biomarkers of Sport-Related Concussion”
Date: April 25, 2019
Michael Roy, M.D., MPH, FACP, COL (Ret)
Professor of Medicine & Director of the Division of Military Internal Medicine
Uniformed Services University
Director of CNRM’s Recruitment Core
Title: "Allostatic Neurotechnology to Improve Symptoms after Traumatic Brain Injury"

March 2019 

Date: March 4, 2019
Department of Neuroscience
Title: “Beyond the Injured Spinal Cord: Spinal Cord Injury as a Systemic Disease”
Date: March 20, 2019
Cory Hallam, Ph.D.
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Title: “Academic Entrepreneurship: The Boon and Barriers of Translating Research to Market”

February 2019 

Date: February 6, 2019
Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Title: “Network-based Autopsy of the Human Brain”

January 2019 

Date: January 9, 2019
Eric Finzi, M.D., Ph.D.
Medical Director and President
Title: "The Role of Botulinum Toxin in Mental Health”