A method for determining the state of human cognitive functions
A Ukrainian University offers a three-component method for determining the psycho-physiological and cognitive state of a human. The method solves the problem of diagnosis of cognitive dysfunctions in stroke and cerebral infarction, of neurodegenerative diseases, in traumatic brain injuries, of determination the cognitive features of the human in the systems of professional selection and vocational guidance. The university is looking for partners for joint research.
The university is looking for partners from academic and research organisations related to bio-medical and clinical research, especially connected with human brain diagnostic. The partner will have to participate in joint research to improve the method, as well as conduct the clinical trials.
A group of researchers from a biomedical department of the Ukrainian University has more than 30 years of experience in developing tools and methods for determination human psycho-physiological state. One of the problems of cognitive impairment in neurodegenerative diseases and brain injuries is the lack of objective quantitative assessment. In some types of injuries, such as concussion, fMRI (Functional magnetic resonance imaging) does not show brain damage. In some another cases, fMRI can detect damage to brain tissue, but cognitive function persists due to brain plasticity. Offered method for determining the state of human cognitive functions consists of three components. The first component is based on the original computer tests to determine the effectiveness of cognitive functions. In the second component, based on EEG (Electroencephalography) analysis (EEG record is performed during the computer testing), neuromarkers of adequacy of brain neural networks are identified. In the third component, based on the ECG (Electrocardiography) analysis (ECG record is performed during the computer testing) is determined by the biological price paid by the organism for the tasks. All computer tests determine the reaction time and the number of errors. The total test time for all tests is about 2.5 hours. For each task, one can select and generate the appropriate set of tests. Based on the determination of three-dimensional localization of brain activity dipoles, brain structures that are involved in a certain cognitive load are determined, and coherent analysis allows us to investigate brain connectivity, as it is the specific interrelated brain structures that determine the effectiveness of brain activity. The spectral analysis of the ECG and the methods of variational pulsometry according to the ratio of activity of the sympathetic and parasympathetic departments of the autonomic nervous system allow to determine the degree of tension of the regulatory mechanisms, which shows how difficult it is for human to perform one or another test. The method can be applied to estimate the degree of cognitive impairment due to neurodegenerative disease or brain injury, evaluate the effectiveness of treatment and rehabilitation, and to select the type of professional activity that will be least exhausting and most effective for human. The university wants to continue clinical trials of the method to continue research to improve method with foreign universities and research medical centers in the form of research cooperation agreemen.
Advantages and innovations
The method allows: - to determine the quantitative features of the state of human central nervous system and cognitive functions that makes possible to optimize medical treatment and rehabilitation of the patient; - to estimate the objective quantitative identification of the psychophysiological features necessary to maximize the professional competence of the human. The uniqueness of the method lies in the fact that the analysis of the psychophysiological human state and his cognitive functions is supplemented with modern neurophysiological and physiological methods of determining the neural networks and brain structures involved in performing the tests. Moreover the biological price paid by the organism for their performance is determined. Such complex analysis eliminates the ambiguity of the conclusions obtained as a result of the use of separate methods for the study of human cognitive functions.
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