Request for Funding
Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2011
All descriptions must contain enough detail to permit an assessment of the problem that is to be addressed and the methodologies that are to be employed. Please be careful to outline the role that the student will play in the project that is described. Please ensure that all relevant approval numbers (IRB, IACUC) are provided.
Mentor: Michael D. Devous, Sr., Ph.D.
Room number: E6.120
Mail Code: 9061
Phone number: x83315
Project title: Assessment of leukoariosis in Alzheimer’s disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): 1296 42500; 1092-39800; 0103-060
Project Type: Patient-based research
Brief Description of Project:
The UT Southwestern Alzheimer’s Disease Center has collected MRI data on a large cohort of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and healthy controls. Dr. Devous directs the center’s neuroimaging core. This project focuses on quantitative assessment of leukoariosis (a marker of white matter vascular disease) in MCI subjects and an evaluation of its relevance to disease progression and to other biological and neuropsychological biomarkers.
The medical student (Akil) will be using a program called MRIcro to manually strip the skull and other extraneous tissue leaving only brain matter. Then, he will create a mask which only highlights the leukoariosis brain tissue. Another program called MATLAB will be used to generate a quantitative analysis of leukoariosis tissue on each slice. The end result is a ratio of leukoariosis tissue volume to the whole brain volume.
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 5 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.