Neurology research


Dr med. Joelle Chabwine is an associate senior researcher at the Laboratory for Neurorehabilitation Science, Medicine Section, Faculty of Medicine and Science. She in charge of the following clinical and fundamental research  topics.

  • Chronic pain

    We focus on EEG and other brain imaging markers correlating with specific clinical patterns of well-defined chronic pain syndromes (e.g. fibromyalgia, chronic neuropathic pain, rheumatologic diseases, non-specific low back pain, etc). Besides, we investigates determinants of pain chronification process (clinical, electrophysiological and biological). From a mechanistic standpoint, we are interested in GABAergic and dopaminergic neurotransmissions. The ultimate outcome of this line of research is to identify mechanism-informed profiles of chronic pain of individual patients for more personalized mechanism-based therapeutic strategies (especially non-pharmacological ones). In addition, we have developed an experimental paradigm compatible with chronic pain, allowing observation of pain response under well-controlled contexts and interventions on healthy as well as patients.

  • Post-lesional recovery

    We examine what favors or limits recovery from neurological deficits caused by brain lesions. We investigate pre-existing, as well as acute and subacute post-lesionnal factors. Here also, we carefully documents studied patients at a clinical, brain imaging and biological level in order to identify meaningful biomarkers and their clinical correlates allowing prevention and more personalized therapeutic interventions improving brain lesion functional outcome.

  • Anatomo-clinical correlations

    Owing to our cognitive clinical experience and brain anatomical and imaging knowledge, we extensively study single cases in which we try to disentangle anatomo-clinical correlations and to determine damages to specific pathways and mechanisms underlying some rare cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms (e.g. body scheme and illusory disorders, akinetic mutism) in the context of focal brain lesions, using readily available techniques (e.g.  tractography, EEG etc.). We intend to progressively extend the knowledge in this field from a clinical perspective and that way contribute to better understand and manage these frequently overlooked symptoms.

  • Tropical neurology

    We are studying tropical neurological diseases, and in particular, konzo. We continue to initiate advanced scientific research in collaboration with local colleagues, that has recently prompted a complete revision of the neuropathological concept and epidemiological determinants of this disease. A very dynamic research line is still going on in this direction.