Bridging Gaps in Research

Through a coordinated research effort involving patients, clinicians and researchers, the Brain Inflammation Collaborative strives to uncover connections between brain inflammation and mental and physical health and make advances in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of neuroinflammatory illness.

The Unhide Project is an ongoing online clinical study that assembles patient-donated data to help clinicians and researchers accelerate breakthroughs surrounding brain inflammation and mental health.

Join the Movement

The relationship between brain inflammation and mental health is vastly understudied and misunderstood. The Brain Inflammation Collaborative is leading the charge to change that. Discover all the different ways you can support our mission to find long-overdue answers and solutions for patients.

Our Research Strategy

We aim to provide financial and logistical support for analyses of our data and use of our banked biosamples to create the fastest and most accessible routes to effective disease management. We are also interested in proposals dedicated to expanding existing diagnostic algorithms and measurement scales. Overall, our priority is to ensure efficient and effective research through collaboration.

Preferred projects for BIC support:

  • Analyses of existing or anticipated Unhide data, with or without suggested platform enhancements
  • Proof of concept clinical trials of therapies with suggested efficacy and tolerability
  • Biological studies to run in conjunction with platform to support biomarker identification and/or repurposing of existing therapies
  • Investigations of approaches to reduce burden of disease for patients and families 



Learn more about our Research Roadmap and overall mission.

Our Research Projects:

Ongoing Projects

Salivary Autoantibody Biomarkers in Basal Ganglia Encephalitis

In collaboration with OUHSC

Abstract: 
The Cunningham lab has identified antineuronal antibodies (AAbs) that cause behavioral and emotional symptoms in PANDAS and PANS and that can also be used to support diagnosis. While the Cunningham Panel currently requires blood samples, studies of other disorders have shown that when disease-specific antibodies are present in blood, they are usually present in saliva as well. In this pilot study, the saliva of patients with PANS and PANDAS will be examined to determine if the Cunningham Panel antibodies are present, and if their levels correlate with symptom severity and with the levels found in blood.

Disease: PANDAS/PANS

Research area: Diagnoses & Descriptives (Biomarker Data) 

Project Status: Pilot phase

Genetic study of predisposition to and manifestation of PANDAS

In collaboration with Galatea & the Biobank of the Americas

Abstract: 
This research project aims to study the relationship between people’s genes and their likelihood of developing PANDAS, as well as their specific PANDAS symptoms, disease journeys, and treatment responses. The results of this research will ultimately help in diagnosing patients and identifying at-risk individuals.

Disease: PANDAS/PANS

Research area: At-risk prevention (Genetic risk factors)

Project Status: Pilot phase

Collaborative Opportunities

The Brain Inflammation Collaborative is dedicated to advancing research and education in neuroinflammatory disease to improve the lives of individuals affected by these illnesses. Furthermore, we hope to achieve this through collaboration with researchers, clinicians, and patients to accelerate breakthroughs in neuroinflammatory disease. 

In addition to grant funding and accepting new project proposals, individuals and organizations interested in becoming a research collaborator can partner up with BIC in one or several of the following projects listed below. 

[Option 1:]

Learn More about our grant process >

Learn more about using our platform as a clinician or researcher >

Read about our research priorities >

See all collaborative opportunities>

[Option 2:]

Moleculera signatures

Abstract: 
Brain inflammation disorders are complex and can mimic psychiatric illnesses, and biological tests that can differentiate and support correct diagnosis have not been widely available. This study aims to explore the relationship between specific types of brain inflammation symptoms and results on the Cunningham Panel tests in order to help with accurate diagnosis, as well as to help understand what specifically causes those symptoms to occur.

Disease: All illnesses under the UnhideTM Project

Research area: Diagnoses & Descriptives (Biomarker data)

Project Status: Open for collaboration

Patterson signatures

Abstract: 
The Patterson laboratory has identified a set of tests, known as “The Patterson Panel,” that detect levels of inflammatory proteins associated with behavioral and emotional symptoms and that can be used to help diagnose long COVID. Through the use of clinical data collected from the Unhide Platform, along with Patterson Panel data donated by participants, this study aims to explore the relationship between specific types of brain inflammation symptoms and specific types of results on the Patterson Panel tests. 

Disease: All illnesses under the UnhideTM Project

Research area: Diagnoses & Descriptives (Biomarker data)

Project Status: Open for collaboration

Cognition in Neuroinflammatory Disease: Functional Signatures, Progression Over Time, and Correlations with Biomarkers, Inflammatory Events, and Interventions

Abstract: 
This study will use the Lumosity app to assess and compare, over time, performance on “brain games” in people with and without neuroinflammatory disease. The goal is to explore how various aspects of cognition differ across different groups of people, as well as to investigate what makes cognitive symptoms appear, how these symptoms change over time, and how they relate to other aspects of neuroinflammatory disease.

Disease: All illnesses under the UnhideTM Project

Research area: Management of Condition (Therapies and Self-care)

Project Status: Open for collaboration

Physiological Data Collected from Wearable Devices: A Comparison Across Diagnoses

Abstract: 
For this study, we will collect data retrieved from wearable devices (Fitbit, Apple Watch, Oura ring, etc.) and symptom reports from those with known diagnoses of PANDAS/PANS, Long Covid, and POTS. The data will establish whether and how dysautonomia symptoms present themselves in these populations and how they compare among the latter and in each of healthy controls and psychiatric controls.

Disease: PANDAS/PANS, Long COVID, POTS

Research area: Diagnoses & Descriptives (Clinical Markers)

Project Status: Open for collaboration

Differences across Neuroinflammatory Diagnoses in Symptom Signatures, Including a Search for Subtype Clusters Using Drumroll AI

In collaboration with Drumroll AI

Abstract: 
Despite established diagnostic criteria for various neuroinflammatory disorders, the overlap in symptomatology creates challenges for differential diagnosis.  In this project, researchers will use statistics and artificial intelligence to evaluate the information collected from patients in our platform to determine if there are distinct clusters of symptoms for each diagnosis, and whether these are reflected in current diagnostic criteria. 

Disease: All illnesses under the UnhideTM Project

Research area: Diagnoses & Descriptives (Clinical Markers)

Project Status: Open for collaboration

Application of AI to Individual-Patient Longitudinal Data in Neuroinflammatory Disease

In collaboration with Drumroll AI

Abstract: 
For any given patient, the specific influences associated with their symptoms can be difficult to track and identify. This research project will present case studies of people who have tracked their symptoms, lifestyle, treatments, and medical and life events over time using the Unhide platform, and for whom Drumroll AI was used to investigate and identify patterns.

Disease: All illnesses under the UnhideTM Project

Research area: Management of Condition (Therapies and Self-care)

Project Status: Open for collaboration

Long-term course of PANS, including identification and impacts of post-traumatic symptoms in both patients and families

Abstract: 
This study would perform a 10-year follow-up using the Unhide platform on patients involved in the 2013 University at Buffalo study – Parent Report of Onset, Interventions, and Clinical Course of Children Identified with PANS/PANDAS (Calaprice et al., 2017; 2018). The goal of this research is to study the course of PANS, relationship between treatment and outcomes, and daily functioning of patients and family over a 10-year timeframe.

 

Disease: PANS

Research area: Occupational & Social Impacts, Management of Condition 

Project Status: Open for collaboration

Intervention Research

Abstract: 
We are interested in 1) collecting case studies/patient experiences and 2) conducting prospective clinical studies to investigate the impact of various interventions (e.g., medications, supplements, etc.) on neuroinflammatory symptoms. These interventions include (but are not limited to): 

  • “Biologic” treatments including, but not limited to, Rituximab, Anakinra, Enbrel, Humira, IVIG
  • DMARDs (Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs, e.g. methotrexate, leflunomide, sulfasalazine, etc.)
  • NSAIDs (Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.)
  • Psychedelics (where legal, e.g. Ketamine, psilocybin)
  • Cannabinoids (where legal)
  • CAR-T therapy
  • Ashwaganda
  • Kava
  • Lions Mane
  • Magnesium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (including specific formulations)
  • SAM-e
  • Turmeric
  • Vitamin D

Disease: All illnesses under the UnhideTM Project

Research area: Management of Condition (Therapies & Self-care)

Project Status: Open for collaboration

You can mail a check (payable to Brain Inflammation Collaborative, Inc.) with your donation any time to the following address:

Brain Inflammation Collaborative, Inc.
925 Genesee St #180440
Delafield, WI 53018

https://braininflammation.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Unhide_whitepaper_V4.pdf