Collaborative Human Studies

Browse topics we’ve covered through collaborative research.

Longitudinal Changes in Cerebello-Cortical Networks and Function Across the Adult Lifespan

PI: Jessica Bernard

This investigation will provide significant new information regarding the changes in the cerebellum that occur during adulthood, and how hormonal changes associated with menopause may contribute to different trajectories in males and females. This will include structural and functional changes, and will also quantify how this structure, and its interactions with the rest of the brain contribute to age related performance declines in motor and cognitive behavior. While we know that the volume and networks of the cerebellum are impacted in older adults, it remains unknown when these changes occur during the adult lifespan. A better understanding of the timeline of these functional and structural changes will allow for the development of more targeted interventions to improve quality of life for older individuals.

Understanding the relationship between meals and blood biomarkers

PI(s): Sheerce Fields, Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna, and Gerard Cote

The long-term objective of this project is to create a counterfactual-based lifestyle intervention that curtails the progression of pre-diabetes to type 3 diabetes (T2DM) through management and knowledge of food choices. This is a significant objective since 70% of pre-diabetes patients go on to develop T2DM. The specific aim of this project is to establish the validity of leveraging photo-based food diaries and CGMs to engage counterfactual thinking strategies that improve food choices amongst pre-diabetes participants. This will be measured by changes in:

  1. Eating attitudes and behaviors,
  2. Behavioral intentions to improve healthy eating behavior,
  3. Motivation to improve eating behavior,
  4. Increased self- efficacy for healthy eating, and
  5. Number of glucose excursions and time-in-range.

An Unobtrusive Continuous Cuff-less Blood Pressure Monitor for Nocturnal Hypertension

PI(s): Roozbeh Jafari & Bobak Mortazavi

The purpose of this study is to develop and evaluate a new sensing platform for measuring blood pressure in a cuff-less fashion. Capturing blood pressure during the day and while asleep at night is important for understanding the risk of heart attacks, but a device is needed that does not inflate and irritate people while using it. Our preliminary data indicates bio-impedance signals can capture characteristics of the heart rate and blood pressure without needing to inflate a cuff. This study will collect data from our device and a clinically-accurate blood pressure monitor to build models that translate bio-impedance signals to blood pressure values.

Subcutaneous microdialysis in humans

PI(s): Michael McShane & Gerard Cote

The objective of the study is to compare the subcutaneous (SC) and plasma concentration of amino acid and glucose after intake of standardized meals. Results will provide insights into which markers to target and detection levels needed for the PathsUp Engineering Research Center to develope SC sensors that continuously measure the concentration that can be used as a proxy for the concentration in plasma.

Assessing neural mechanisms of central fatigue in older adults with obesity and mild cognitive impairments

PI: Ranjana Mehta

This study aims to investigate both neural and central mechanisms of fatigue for older adults under the influence of stress and older patients with mild cognitive impairment. This study uses a novel neuroergonomic approach by integrating traditional neurostimulation technique (TMS) with neuroimaging (fNIRS) to understand mechanisms of fatigue both upstream and downstream of the descending drive for older adults. Finally, investigation of brain function during elbow flexion is limited due to limitations of traditional neuroimaging methods. This study is the first to investigate supraspinal mechanisms involved in the impact of stress on neuromuscular fatigue of knee extensors using the ambulatory neuroimaging technique of fNIRS.