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.