Keynote Talk Title: Virtual Reality a tool to address motor-cognitive interactions
Director, Laboratory of Early Markers of Neurodegeneration (LEMON)
Assoc. Director, Center for the Study of Movement, Cognition and Mobility (CMCM), Neurological Institute, Tel Aviv Medical Center
Associate Professor, Sackler School of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University
Prof. Mirelman’s main research interests relate to the multi-factorial interactions between motor and cognitive function in ageing and neurodegeneration, identifying sensitive markers of disease and the development of new interventions to improve motor-cognitive deficits. Her studies led to new discoveries on successful ageing and the potential of using changes in response to motor-cognitive loading, as precursors of functional impairments in populations at risk for neurodegeneration.
In addition, Prof. Mirelman and colleagues have shown that using virtual reality can help augment motor-cognitive function, reduce falls, and fall risk in more than 300 older adults and patients with Parkinson’s disease, the largest multicentre randomized controlled trial with VR to date. Work in this area also led to the exploration of the mechanisms behind motor-cognitive impairments or improvements. Her work using wearable imaging techniques such as Functional near Infra-Red Spectroscopy (fNIRS) has led to the understanding of the role of the Dorso-Lateral Pre Frontal Cortex (DLPFC) in complex conditions in patients with PD.
In the past 10 years Prof. Mirelman has also led the ‘Genetics in Parkinson’s disease Project’ at the Tel Aviv Medical Center. The goal of this project is to identify early subtle clinical markers that could indicate disease processes. This work also involves the exploration of the role of genetics in gait, the examination of potential phenotypic differences in groups of patients and the identification of subtle sensitive motor features in the prodromal phase of disease. Prof. Mirelman has more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and she is an associate editor in Frontiers in Neurology.