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Fiber Clustering Analysis to Quantify White Matter Connectivity in the Aging Human Brain

Key Investigators

Project Description


  1. Design and streamline workflow for the analysis of dMRI data from geriatric patients.
  2. Identify existing and novel functionality to cluster white matter fiber streamlines.
  3. Troubleshot existing problems in the analysis workflow.

Approach and Plan

  1. Exchage expertise and information to identify optimal strategies for white matter analysis.
  2. Implement and adapt workflows to improve the robustness of the existing approaches.
  3. Test and validate the functionality and results obtained.

Progress and Next Steps

  1. The team has made substantial progress on integration UKF tractography and WM labeling tools (BWH team) with existing functionality to identify cerebral microbleeds (USC team).
  2. An approach to identify, analyze and quantify changes in FA along major WM fasciculi of the brain was agreed upon and prototyped.
  3. Testing and validation of integrated workflows was performed and the two teams made progress on identifying goals for future collaboration.


Background and References

  1. Di Fan, Nikhil N. Chaudhari, Kenneth A. Rostowsky, Maria Calvillo, Sean K. Lee, Nahian F. Chowdhury, Fan Zhang, Lauren J. O’Donnell and Andrei Irimia. Post-Traumatic Cerebral Microhemorrhages and Their Effects upon White Matter Connectivity in the Aging Human Brain[C]. 41th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC 2019).
  2. Isaiah Norton, Ibn Essayed, Fan Zhang, Sonia Pujol, Alex Yarmarkovich, Alexandra Golby, Gordon Kindlmann, Demian Wasserman, Raul San José Estepar, Yogesh Rathi, Steve Pieper, Ron Kikinis, Hans Johnson, Carl-Fredrik Westin, and Lauren J. O’Donnell. 2017. “SlicerDMRI: Open Source Diffusion MRI Software for Brain Cancer Research.” Cancer Research, 77, 21, Pp. e101–103.
  3. Fan Zhang, Ye Wu, Isaiah Norton, Laura Rigolo, Yogesh Rathi, Nikos Makris, and Lauren J. O’Donnell. 2018. “An anatomically curated fiber clustering white matter atlas for consistent white matter tract parcellation across the lifespan.” NeuroImage, 179, Pp. 429-447.