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Taking a closer look at brain injury

Fast facts

  • Official title: Neuroanatomical correlates of cognitive dysfunction in short and long term survivors of childhood medulloblastoma
  • Lead researcher: Professor Chris Clark
  • Where: Institute of Child Health, University College London
  • When: March 2018 - February 2021
  • Cost: £298,640 over a three-year period
  • Research type: Paediatric, Medulloblastoma (High Grade), Academic

Professor Chris Clark is Professor of Imaging and Biophysics at UCL. His research focus is on the development and application of imaging for the understanding of neurological disability. The development of these methods will lead to better neurosurgical planning in both children and adults.

Treatment for children with medulloblastoma, an aggressive type of brain tumour, is frequently accompanied by damage to the brain with long-term implications such as memory loss. When grouped together these effects are called Cerebellar Mutism Syndrome (CMS) or Posterior Fossa Syndrome, because of the location of the tumour at the back of the brain.

Diffusion tensor imaging or DTI, is a type of MRI that measures the flow of water around the brain, and around the tumour, which allows us to see precisely where damage may have occurred. The technique is yet to be developed for medulloblastoma, and this will be the focus of Professor Clark's project with us.

If these vulnerable areas of the brain can be avoided during treatment it would prevent CMS and the unnecessary brain injuries that severely affect a child's quality of life.

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