Earlier this week, EurekaAlert!, an online news service operated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), featured a research article published by our MUSC team. Emilie McKinnon, the lead author of the study, is an MD., PhD candidate at the Medical University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on innovative neuroimaging and analysis techniques that allow for evaluation of microstructural characteristics of the brain’s white matter pathways. Studying these areas is important – white matter pathways connect regions of the brain, and when damaged, speech and language functions supported by that network can be disrupted. The technique McKinnon and colleagues used to study white matter pathways, called diffusion kurtosis imaging, is complex; however, their study showed that this measure is sensitive in detecting changes in white matter pathways before and after intensive aphasia therapy. This article is important because it shows that improvements made during aphasia therapy are associated with changes in the brain’s microstructure.
You can read a summary of the article here: https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/muos-arv071017.php
The original article by McKinnon and colleagues appears in the June issue of the Annals of Neurology. You can read the original abstract here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28628946