Diffusion Spectrum Imaging (DSI): A tool for unraveling disrupted structural connectivity in PTSD?

The development of biomarkers for the identification of individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) presents a challenge that has not been met using conventional population study tools. One potential factor exacerbating the intrinsic challenges in diagnosing PTSD is the inherent heterogeneity of its presentation and the concomitant increase in variance of the clinical and neuroimaging measures considered thus far.

Recent advances in neuroimaging allow for the in vivo and non-invasive monitoring of functional and anatomical connectivity in the brain. Among these techniques, diffusion spectrum imaging (DSI) provides the most accurate in vivo information about the underlying structural connectivity infrastructure of the brain. However, the application of DSI for the study of structural connectivity in humans has been previously limited by the long data acquisition times required.

The Neuroimaging team at NYU has developed the fastest (and most accurate) implementation of DSI in humans, and this methodology has been applied for the study of the PTSD cohort recruited through the CVC. The intrinsic high anatomical heterogeneity expected in this cohort was prospectively addressed using low-rank-plus-sparse matrix decomposition, and results to date demonstrate decreased anatomical connectivity through several white matter bundles in the brains of PTSD subjects.

In this presentation, Dr. Boada discussed the conceptual paradigm for utilizing DSI in the study of PTSD along with the methodological developments that have enabled its use. In addition, Dr. Boada presented the results to date in the PTSD cohort and the conceptual considerations required for using DSI as a single-subject diagnostic tool.

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Webinar originally hosted Wednesday, February 24, 2016, at 12pm noon ET
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About Fernando E. Boada, PhD

Dr. Fernando E. Boada obtained his PhD in physics in 1990 from Case Western Reserve University after which he received specialty training in Magnetic Resonance Imaging at both Case Western Reserve University and Harvard University Medical School. After serving as a postdoctoral fellow and then research fellow in radiology at Case Western Reserve University and Harvard University Medical School, respectively, he moved to the University of Pittsburgh in 1993, where he ultimately earned tenure as Professor of Radiology with a secondary appointment as Professor of Bioengineering.  Beginning in 2012, Dr. Boada began appointments at New York University as Professor of Radiology in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurosurgery as well as the Director of the Center for Advanced Imaging Innovation & Research and Co-Director of the Center for Biomedical Imaging.

Dr. Boada has established himself as a leader in the area of noncartesian data acquisition strategies, sodium imaging, and high field imaging, with research interests in neurological disease, musculoskeletal disease, and cancer. He also has a strong interest in the capabilities of combined MR and PET imaging, receiving the 2015 Distinguished Investigator Award by Academy of Radiology.

In addition to serving on numerous scientific review committees, Dr. Boada is a member of several editorial boards, and is the current Chair of the Neuroimaging Program for the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.  Since joining the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Boada has secured more than $19 million in National Institutes of Health funding for research projects and generated over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals, including Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Neurosurgery, Journal of Neuroimaging, Journal of Neurosurgery, and Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

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