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Friday, 28 October 2022 12:39

Awesome News: Congratulations to Kathrine Skak Madsen, who received a generous grant of 10 million DKK from Elsass Fonden

Senior Researcher Kathrine Skak Madsen received a generous grant of DKK 10 million, together with Melanie Ganz-Benjaminsen, to set up clinical infant and toddler neuroimaging without the use of general anesthesia (GA) in Denmark. 

Today, diagnostic MRI of newborns, infants, and toddlers with suspected brain damage is typically conducted using sedation or GA and is mainly based on conventional structural MR images focusing on identifying major structural brain pathology. The project NIBS-CP aims to establish procedures for clinical infant and toddler MRI during natural sleep without sedation or GA in Denmark. Further, we will implement advanced MRI sequences that may be more sensitive in detecting brain injury than conventional diagnostic MRI.

NIBS-CP will assess early brain and motor function development in 200 infants at risk of cerebral palsy enrolled in the CP-EDIT study (led by Prof. Christina Engel Hoei-Hansen) and in typically developing infants. Infants will be followed longitudinally (for three waves) between the ages of 3 months and 2 years with comprehensive assessments of motor functioning and advanced MRI sequences, e.g., advanced diffusion-weighted imaging, structural and myelin-sensitive sequences, and MR spectroscopy. 

NIBS-CP aims to establish a normative material of early brain development of Danish children, as well as conduct normative modeling of typical and atypical development to identify deviations in brain development at the level of the single child. NIBS-CP will also map how early brain development relates to motor function and motor development. Identifying predictive brain structural features of motor function and motor development is key to the future use of early MRI in the clinical work-up, as this promotes early diagnosis and (clinical) intervention strategies tailored to the individual child.

We will translate the practical and methodological developments from our research to scan infants and toddlers in a clinical setting, with the opening of the future child-dedicated brain MR scanner, also funded by Elsass Fonden, at Mary Elizabeth’s Hospital in mind.

NIBS-CP will run until 2027 at the DRCMR, Hvidovre Hospital and at Rigshospitalet. Stay tuned, as more will come on this project in the future!