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Dr. Dobryakova of Kessler Foundation receives New Jersey Neuropsychological Society award

West Orange, NJ. May 23, 2014. Ekaterina Dobryakova, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in Kessler Foundation Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research received a competitive research award from the New Jersey Neuropsychological Society to study whether motivation influences cognitive fatigue and the brain regions associated with it in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

The research is being conducted under a National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) Fellowship Training Grant, awarded to Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, (H133P090009) from the Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Center on Neurcognitive Rehabilitation. Drs. Glenn Wylie, Helen Genova, and John DeLuca from Kessler Foundation are co-investigators.

Cognitive symptoms, including cognitive fatigue, are a common but under recognized complication of MS. Individuals with MS often report experiencing cognitive fatigue,(fatigue resulting from mental work rather than from physical labor) as one of their most debilitating symptoms.

"It is important to find ways that might alleviate cognitive fatigue so we can develop effective interventions to reduce cognitive fatigue," Dr. Dobryakova said, "Developing an effective treatment method would greatly improve the quality of life of persons with MS. This award will help achieve that. I am honored to be chosen as the recipient."

"This study aims to determine whether motivation results in activation of the network of regions in the brain thought to be impaired in cognitive fatigue," said Dr. Chiaravalloti, director of Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research. "We are pleased that Dr. Dobryakova has received funding that supports this novel line of research."

Healthy participants, as well as individuals with MS who report cognitive fatigue on a daily basis, will undergo functional MRI of the brain. During the scans, participants will complete a task two ways; one with the motivation of monetary reward, and one without. Participants will also be asked about how fatigued they are while performing each task.

Contact: Carolann Murphy
Kessler Foundation

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Dr. Dobryakova of Kessler Foundation receives New Jersey Neuropsychological Society award
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