Published: 10-09-2015 11:44 | Updated: 02-10-2015 11:16

Swedish Brain Foundation (Hjärnfonden) grant to research on brain networks and dementia

Eric Westman visar ett exempel på bildtekniken som hans forskargrupp använder.

For the second year in a row Eric Westman, associate professor at Karolinska Institutet and NVS, received a grant of SEK 500 000 from the Swedish Brain Foundation. The grant funds research on brain networks and underlying mechanisms of dementia.

"It feels great that our research is prioritized in the tough competition for grants from the Swedish Brain Foundation" Eric Westman says.

His research group explores how networks in the brain are affected by dementias, mainly Alzheimer's Disease (AD), but also in other dementias such as Parkinson's Disease and Fontotemporal Dementia. An essential part of the method is to collect information via techniques that take images of the brain. The images show, among other things, the brain structure and which parts of the brain that are active during performance of cognitive tasks.

In AD, parts of the brain degenerates which leads to deterioration of cognitive functions and affected memory. Many patients in the later stages of the disease experiences difficulties to remember how to perform tasks of everyday life, such as eating, getting dressed, or remembering their family.

"The objective of the research is to deepen the understanding of why we develop dementia. Hopefully then we can diagnose the diseases at an earlier stage than today. That, along with more effective drugs, will hopefully provide opportunities to slow down the progress of the diseases and reduce occurrence" Eric Westman says.