Brain plasticity in health and disease

Principal Investigator:  Bogdan Draganski



We use in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and clinical/behavioural assessment to investigate the interaction between anatomical characteristics and neural activity in limbic, cognitive and sensorimotor cortico-subcortical circuits in healthy subjects and patients with movement disorders.

Building on our own methods development in the field of probabilistic diffusion tractography we describe in detail the topography of subregions, corresponding to nodes in cortico-subcortical circuits. Through our close collaboration with MR physicists we use quantitative imaging techniques with high degree of specificity for distinct tissue properties to establish in vivo the link to findings of post mortem histological assessment of brain tissue. Our ultimate goal is to use the detailed anatomical/functional inferences of cortico-subcortical circuitry as biomarkers for early detection and clinical outcome prognosis in patients with neurodegenerative movement disorders.


Research topics:

• Principles of integration and segregation in the basal ganglia
• Information processing in cortico-subcortical circuits
• Mechanisms of motor control and its modulation by motivation

Key publications

Draganski B, Ashburner J, Hutton C, Kherif F, Frackowiak RS, Helms G, Weiskopf N.Regional specificity of MRI contrast parameter changes in normal ageing revealed by voxel-based quantification (VBQ). Neuroimage. 2011 Jan 28

Draganski B, Martino D, Cavanna AE, Hutton C, Orth M, Robertson MM, Critchley HD, Frackowiak RS,Multispectral brain morphometry in Tourette Syndrome persisting into adulthood. Brain 2010 Dec;133(Pt12):3661-75

Taubert M, Draganski B, Anwander A, Müller K, Horstmann A, Villringer A, Ragert P. Dynamic properties of human brain structure: learning-related changes in cortical areas and associated fiber connections. J Neurosci. 2010 Sep 1;30(35):11670-7.

Draganski B, Bhatia KP. Brain structure in movement disorders: a neuroimaging perspective. Curr Opin Neurol. 2010 Aug;23(4):413-9. Review.

Hutton C, Draganski B, Ashburner J, Weiskopf N. A comparison between voxel-based cortical thickness and voxel-based morphometry in normal aging Neuroimage. 2009 Nov 1;48(2):371-80

Klöppel S, Draganski B, Siebner HR, Tabrizi SJ, Weiller C, Frackowiak RS. Functional compensation of motor function in pre-symptomatic Huntington's disease. Brain. 2009 Jun;132(Pt 6):1624-32.

Draganski B, Schneider SA, Fiorio M, Klöppel S, Gambarin M, Tinazzi M, Ashburner J, Bhatia KP, Frackowiak RS. Genotype-phenotype interactions in primary dystonias revealed by differential changes in brain structure. Neuroimage. 2009 Oct 1;47(4):1141-7

Helms G, Draganski B, Frackowiak R, Ashburner J, Weiskopf N Improved segmentation of deep brain grey matter structures using magnetization transfer (MT) parameter maps. Neuroimage. 2009 Aug 1;47(1):194-8.

Draganski B, Kherif F, Kloppel S, Cook PA, Deichmann R, Alexander DC, Parker GJM, Ashburner J, and Frackowiak, RSJ. Evidence for segregated and integrative connectivity patterns in the human basal ganglia, J Neurosci. 2008 Jul 9;28(28):7143-52

Pessiglione M, Schmidt L, Draganski B, Kalisch R, Lau H, Dolan RJ, et al. How the brain translates money into force: a neuroimaging study of subliminal motivation. Science 2007; 316: 904-6.

Draganski B, Gaser C, Kempermann G, Kuhn HG, Winkler J, Buchel C, et al. Temporal and spatial dynamics of brain structure changes during extensive learning. J Neurosci 2006; 26: 6314-7.

Draganski B, Gaser C, Busch V, Schuierer G, Bogdahn U, May A. Neuroplasticity: changes in grey matter induced by training. Nature 2004; 427: 311-2




DFG Klinische Forschergruppe (Germany): Deep Brain Stimulation – basic mechanisms, basal ganglia physiology - Institute of Neurology, Clinic for Movement Disorders, Charité, Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany – PI Neuroimaging, CHF 300K for 3 years

Swiss National Science Foundation : Anatomical and functional segregation within cortico-subcortical circuits - project grant - CHF 375K for 3 years

Parkinson Switzerland: Anatomical and functional segregation within cortico-subcortical circuits in Parkinsons disease - CHF 120K for 3 years

Novartis Stiftung für Biologisch-Medizinische Forschung (Switzerland): Development of an imaging biomarker for idiopathic Parkinson's disease - project grant - CHF 60K

Swiss National Science Foundation - SPUM (Prof. Margitta Seeck - HUG): "Imaging large scale network in epilepsy" - project grant - CHF 400K for 3 years

Swiss National Science Foundation - Sinergia (Prof. Alexandre Reymond - CIG - UNIL): "The 16p11.2 rearrangements: genetic paradigms for obesity and neurodevelopmental disorders" - project grant - CHF 40K for 1 year

Synapsis Foundation : "Development of a composite imaging/gait behaviour biomarker for early detection of cognitive impairment in ageing" - project grant - CHF 150K for 3 years

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CHUV - Rue du Bugnon 46 - CH-1011 Lausanne
Tel. +41 21 314 95 93
Fax +41 21 314 12 56