Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2009
Mentor: Michael D. Devous, Sr., Ph.D.
Room number: E6.120
Mail Code: 9061
Phone number: x83315
Project title: "Neuroimaging Biomarkers in Dementia"
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable):
1296 42500; 1092-39800; 0103-060
Project Type: patient-based research
Brief Description of Projects:
1) Volumetrics of hippocampus in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease. This project focuses on anatomic measures from very-high-resolution MRI images obtained at 3T to assess the degree of hippocampal atrophy present in patients relative to age-matched controls.
2) Volumetric measures of leukoariosis in the assessment of vascular risk factors for Alzheimer's Disease. Leukoariosis leads to changes on T2-weighted MRI images that provide evidence of white matter vascular disease. This process is thought to represent a significant risk factor in Alzheimer's Disease for more rapid progression and treatment resistance. Quantitation of the volume of leukoariosis is a new measure being examined for its prognostic value.
3) Diffusion Tensor Imaging and resting state fMRI to assess connectivity failure in Alzheimer's Disease and in Traumatic Brain Injury. Diffusion tensor imaging is an important advance in MRI techniques that provides images of white matter tracts in vivo by measuring the directional tendencies of diffusion of water along myelinated fibers (anisotropy). Such tractograms provide evidence of alterations in structural connectivity between gray matter regions. In parallel, it is possible to measure the temporal and spatial covariance of the MRI signal in gray matter during resting-state fMRI as a means of assessing functional connectivity in living humans. Measures of both structural and functional connectivity are key to assessing the pathological sequelae of neuronal dysfunction in neurodegenerative disease.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
I have an ongoing research program that involves a number of students and faculty. This has derived in part from students contacted in the following teaching environments:
1) Functional Brain Imaging, subsection of MS-4 Radiology, 1984- present
2) Functional Brain Imaging in Psychiatry, PGY-2 and 3 Psychiatry lectures, 1998-present
3) Fundamentals of Functional Brain Imaging, graduate lecture course for the Radiological Sciences Program
4) Advanced Principles of Functional Brain Imaging, graduate lecture course
5) Laboratory Rotation, Functional Brain Imaging,
Medical Student Projects in the last 3 years have included:
1) Functional Brain Imaging in Speech and Language in Subjects with Cochlear Implants
2) Pharmacologic Enhancement of Speech Perception Therapy - Enhancing Brain Plasticity in Adult Cochlear Implant Users
3) Volumetrics of hippocampus in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease.
4) Volumetric measures of leukoariosis in the assessment of vascular risk factors for Alzheimer's Disease.
5) Diffusion Tensor Imaging and resting state fMRI to assess connectivity failure in Alzheimer's Disease.
6) The use of Susceptibility Weighted Imaging in Traumatic Brain Injury.
7) Post mortem volumetric MRI. One important activity of the ADC is post mortem examination of the brain in patients in the various clinical cohorts.
8) Development of Arterial Spin Labeling MRI perfusion measures to assess vasodilatory reserve in Alzheimer's Disease.