Research in the laboratory of Todd J. Schwedt, M.D., utilizes advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to study migraine and concussion. This includes structural measures, such as diffusion tensor imaging and cortical thickness, as well as functional measures, including event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging and resting state functional connectivity.
The goal of Dr. Schwedt's research is to identify imaging biomarkers that will assist in diagnosing, treating and prognosticating outcomes for patients with migraine and concussion.
- Atypical pain processing in migraine. Functional MRI is used to investigate the atypical processing of sensory stimuli that is present in patients with migraine. Techniques include quantitative sensory testing and functional MRI during painful thermal stimulation. This allows for identification of specific brain areas where atypical pain processing occurs in the migraine brain.
- Brain functional and structural connectivity. Diffusion tensor imaging and resting state functional connectivity analyses are employed to determine the structural and functional organization of the brain in the presence of disease.
- Modeling imaging data for diagnosis and prognosis. With the assistance of research collaborators, Dr. Schwedt is working to develop multivariate models of MRI data that can assist with the diagnosis and prognosis of migraine and concussion.
Significance to patient care
A more precise description of atypical pain processing and abnormal organization of pain processing regions in the brains of patients with migraine and concussion will hopefully lead to more targeted therapies. In addition, the multivariate models of imaging data that Dr. Schwedt and collaborators are developing will be useful for diagnosis and prognosis of migraine and concussion.
- Vice chairman, Headache and Facial Pain Section, American Academy of Neurology, 2013-present
- Board of directors, American Migraine Foundation, 2013-present
- Board of directors, American Headache Society, 2012-present
- Chairman, Post-Traumatic Headache Working Group, International Classification of Headache Disorders, Third Edition, 2009-present
- Associate editor, Headache, Cephalalgia and Pain Medicine journals