COSMOS

About

The mission of our lab is to identify ways to improve recovery after brain injury, through an understanding of the neuroscience of resilience to injury and restoration of function. To achieve this, we investigate networks in the brain that support functions such as memory, using cutting-edge techniques including diffusion MRI, tractography and tractometry, positron emission tomography (PET), EEG and cognitive paradigms.

We study clinical populations with stroke, mild traumatic brain injury (“concussion”) and hypoxic-ischaemic injury. Through investigation of cross-cutting areas of cognitive neuroscience we aim to develop a detailed understanding of deficits and the potential for restoration of function.

STRATEGIC Study

STRATEGIC is a longitudinal study of cognitive function (mental skills) after stroke. We recruited just over 200 people who had suffered an acute stroke and assessed them after 1-3 months and again after one year. STRATEGIC looked in most detail at memory function after stroke. A previous large survey of stroke survivors had shown that memory problems are a leading cause of unmet need – memory problems are common and we have little to offer currently to treat them. We recruited individuals who had suffered their first stroke, in a variety of different locations in the brain. Understanding the mechanisms of memory problems is the first step in the design of new treatments.

Apathy after Stroke (ApathyAustralia)

Apathy is a major determinant of quality of life after stroke, for which there are currently no effective treatments. We host the Australian arm of an international clinical study of apathy after stroke. We will recruit patients with stroke from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and the Sunshine Coast University Hospital. The aim is to get a better understanding of the frequency and persistence of apathy in different subtypes of stroke, to investigate the patterns of brain injury that underpin apathy, and to use this knowledge to design clinical trials.