Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

Microstructural Imaging and Rehabilitative Plasticity Program

A ‘personalised medicine’ approach for training in patients with brain injury

Our vision is that every patient enrolled in a rehabilitative training program, receives the optimal training dose that is personalised to that individual, and which maximises the benefit of the training (a ‘personalised medicine’ approach).

Our mission is to gain a deep understanding of the neural substrates underpinning individualised responses to training in patients with brain injury. This includes:

  • Detailed identification of damage to brain tissue as a result of the injury;
  • Characterisation of any differences in response to training between brain injured and healthy participants. This includes detailed temporal profiling of performance, and spatio-temporal profiling of changes in brain structure.
  • Prediction of likely training benefit from baseline characterisation of performance (e.g., cognition, motor control) and from baseline characterisation of brain structure.

We achieve our mission, by deploying the very latest techniques in advanced brain imaging, including detailed characterisation of the individual’s response to the training intervention at : (i) the behavioural level (cognitive functioning, motor control, participation); (ii) the macrostructural level (brain connectomics); (iii) the microstructural level (white matter organisation).

The findings of our research program will lead to the identification of sensitive and specific MRI biomarkers that will enhance understanding of the pathophysiology of patients and help evaluate effectiveness of therapies.