Reduced cognition in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is both hard to measure and hard to treat. We want to improve our ability to measure the impairment, in hopes of gaining a better understanding of what happens to the brain during the disease and being able to improve treatment. To do this we gather brain scans from patients and look for regions that are more active during tasks concerning cognition, and how these regions interact with each other. This way we can visualise a brain network of interconnected regions. These networks will have topographical (strength of connections) and topological properties (amount of connections, hub forming. We are currently analysing brain scans of a group of students that performed two stimulus frequencies and modalities (auditory and visual) of Paced Serial Addition Testing (PSAT). Results show a lower effect of modality compared to stimulus frequency. This would imply that visual testing will be sufficient in cognitive testing over auditory testing, as it is also the preferred form of testing by patients. We also investigate the brain activity over time, during resting state, in different regions of the brains of MS patients and healthy controls.
Jeroen currently works as a research fellow at the NMSC Melsbroek.