Paediatric mild traumatic brain injury (pmTBI) is a very common brain disorder that affects the brain during important developmental changes. The transition between childhood and adolescence (8-16 years of age) is characterised by profound changes in the brain structure and functioning. At this age period, the injury hits the still-developing brain regions underlying emotion, cognition, behaviour, and socialisation, and can result in significant long-term impairment in these functional domains.
Each pmTBI is unique based on the individuality of brain injury (i.e. location and magnitude of injury) that is superimposed on the individuality of brain development (i.e. trajectory varies between children). However, the current “one size fits all” approach that consider all children with mTBI as a homogenous group, lacks the precision needed to capture these individualities. INITIATE proposes to combine, for the first-time, advanced neuroimaging techniques with an individualised and longitudinal approach to characterise the individual profile of injury and the changes in brain development following mTBI in children.
This innovative approach will allow to capture the individuality of each child with mTBI and thereby to better understand the variability and complexity of the consequences of pmTBI. INITIATE findings have the potential to open new directions in research of pmTBI, and to move the field to a more individualised approach, a first step toward personalised medicine of pmTBI in the long-term.
Furthermore, this fellowship will enable me to gain extensive knowledge in paediatric medicine, advanced neuroimaging and developmental neuroscience, thereby giving me the opportunity to develop into an independent researcher in the field of TBI and brain development and to lead my own research my own research group and to conduct high quality research at a European University.
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