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Neuroscientific Interventions in Cognitive Impairment: From Prediction and Prevention to Recovery and Rehabilitation

A roundtable discussion presented and moderated by:
Psychology Department Faculty

When: Monday, February 20, 15:00 – 15:50

Where: Deree Faculty Lounge

Organized by: Faculty Research Seminars 2016-17 Series


Background

Brain-damaged people exist in large numbers. Globally, about 40% of people who sustain brain damage resulting from various etiologies will never recover sufficiently to return to their daily activities, mainly due to cognitive deterioration in a differential effect. Acquired neuropathies arising from head injuries, dementias, cerebral tumors, types of encephalitis, cerebrovascular diseases, alcohol abuse and surgical interventions impact patients’ lives and place a great burden upon their families, upon the national health services and upon the entire society.

To what extent can lost functioning be understood, predicted, assessed or restored? Is “regeneration” of brain tissue possible? In the neurosciences, brain damage is traditionally considered a unitary concept. To this end, a contemporary approach to the understanding, assessing or treating cognitive impairment resulting from brain damage must combine several subfields: cognitive psychology, clinical neuropsychology, as well as behavioral science.

In this context, four members of the Department of Psychology at Deree present major conceptualizations of brain-behavior links, and discuss their current research interests and perspectives radiating from their experimental, as well as clinical experiences. Based on their research findings, they document why the diversity in perspectives between the prevailing views in the brain sciences is a road worth travelling.

Presenters

Dr. Ion Beratis

Dr. Beratis has obtained his degrees from the Departments of Psychology and Medicine at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and the University of Edinburgh, in the domains of neuropsychology, psychophysiology, and psychometrics.

He has explored cognitive impairment in various neurological and psychiatric populations, the role of environmental risk factors in schizophrenia, and the non-pharmaceutical interventions in dementia.

Dr. Beratis’ current research interest focuses on the assessment of cognitive decline referred to as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) which is exhibited in transitional states between normal aging and dementia as well as on the gains in cognition through combined cognitive and physical training.

Dr. Mary Canellopoulou 

Dr. Canellopoulou studied Psychology at Deree – The American College of Greece, and Clinical Cognitive Neuropsychology at Brunel University, London. She has clinical training in neuropsychological screening at the Centre of Health, Sickness and Disablement, UK, and in memory rehabilitation programs at St. Thomas Hospital.

Since 1997, she has been an Assistant Researcher under the clinical supervision of Professor K. Koumakis at the Neurological Department of Athens Euroclinic. She has conducted research on placebo analgesia and on the detection of cognitive impairment in organic brain syndromes such as multiple sclerosis, the Korsakoff syndrome, and subclinical hepatic encephalopathy.

Her current research interest focuses on the understanding of neurocircuity in anorexia nervosa for flexible cognitive treatments development.

Dr. Dimitris Kasselimis

Dr. Kasselimis is a trained clinical neuropsychologist with a solid background in biology from the University of Patras, the University of Crete, and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He serves as a Research Associate at Eginition University Hospital.

He has been researching the learning and memory deficits in strokes and various neurodegenerative diseases. His current research interest focuses on the identification of clinical and demographic prognostic factors in post-stroke aphasia as an acquired neurogenic disorder with massive impact on patients’ neuropsychological status and daily functioning, by using clinical and neuropsychological psychometric tools.

Dr. Eleni Konsolaki 

Dr. Konsolaki completed her graduate and postgraduate studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and at the Athens University of Economics and Business, and she has specialized in cognitive science, statistics, and neuroscience.

Her research focuses on the selective vulnerability of neural circuits in the brain and their dynamic relationship with cognitive and behavioral changes. She has systematically explored various levels of the brain-behavior interplay such as: behavioral genetics in dementia, neuronal morphology in aging, gender differences in brain activity, and memory deficits in depression. Currently, she works on neuromodulation projects at the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens.