The primary goal of the research at the Brain Sciences Center is to elucidate the dynamic mechanisms of the working brain in health and disease. The neuroscientists at the Brain Sciences Center are working to unlock the mysteries of debilitating neurological diseases, disorders, and addictions. With today's technology, researchers are able to view these dynamic processes of the working brain, and take the first steps toward understanding the mechanisms which may lead to treatment and prevention to help the millions suffering from brain afflictions.
Objectives: To use brain imaging to better understand brain function, cognition and adjustment of veterans who may or may not be experiencing symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or other co-occuring mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression, etc.
"PTSD is a psychiatric disorder deﬁned by an enduring set of maladaptive symptoms that arise after exposure to one or more potentially life-threatening events. These include unwanted re-experiencing of persistent painful trauma memories through nightmares, daytime intrusive memories and psychological distress or physiologic arousal when reminded of the trauma."
Research plan and methods: Veterans with and without PTSD, mTBI, depression, and other co-occurring disorders will be invited to complete mental health assessments, cognitive testing, and a brief, noninvasive task to measure brain activity (magnetoencephalography, or MEG).
PTSD in the United States
About 7-8% of the population will have PTSD at some point in their lives. About 5.2 million adults have PTSD during a given year.
PTSD in the U. S. Armed Forces
PTSD occurs in about 11-20% of Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, 10% of Gulf War Veterans and 30% of Vietnam Veterans.
(National Center for PTSD, Department of Veterans Affairs, 2010)
This study has already increased understanding through numerous presentations and two articles in scientific journals. It has also gained a lot of media attention. A simple Google internet search of "Engdahl MEG PTSD" turns up over 97,000 results, including articles from Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, USA Today, TIME, CNET, and the Scientific American, as well as segments on Fox 9 News and Minnesota Public Radio.
was created by the efforts of a tripartite partnership from private, state and federal sectors including:
This partnership provided funds for an endowed chair in Brain Sciences, as well as office space and general support for the Brain Sciences Center.
Since it opened in 1991, the Center has grown substantially in physical size and personnel. The staff now includes more than 40 people, who come from a variety of academic backgrounds and institutions around the world. All have trained at the Brain Sciences Center on research methods ranging from neurophysiology to brain imaging. This unique blend of people and the integration of many scientific disciplines creates an environment for excellence in research and education.
(above) The Brain Sciences Chair in the office of Dr. Apostolos Georgopoulos.