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Study of structural brain connectivity in healthy aging based on tracts

Grant number: 15/26227-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2016
Effective date (End): March 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Medical Radiology
Principal Investigator:Carlos Ernesto Garrido Salmon
Grantee:Maíra Siqueira Pinto
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


The brain aging is a complex and heterogeneous process that is associated with a high level of variability between subjects. MR images enable in vivo characterization of structural and functional changes due to advancing age. Specifically, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) technique is a noninvasive method used to evaluate the anisotropy diffusion of molecular water in the tissues. This technique allows the investigation of microstructures of the cerebral white matter. The degradation of the structure of axonal fibers may be associated with disease and/or aging processes and is characterized by changes in quantitative parameters resulting from the processing of DTI as fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD) and fiber density (FD ). With such markers, it has been shown in the literature a decline in the integrity of brain tracts with age, and that this decline is in the form of a spatial gradient in the anterior-posterior direction within the brain. Additionally several studies have shown some spatial pattern in the reduction of cortical thickness with aging.In this master's project we will evaluate, retrospectively, the healthy brain aging, through DTI data for 120 healthy subjects, aged 18 to 86 years old. The images are part of the image bank of the Center of Images and Medical Physics at Hospital of Clinics of Ribeirão Preto - HCRP. With such images will be conducted analysis by two methods: tractography and voxel based analysis. Thus, will be created FA, MD and FD maps to determine and compare the regions of white matter with significant correlation between the parameter values and aging. To study the structural connectivity of brain regions, tractography will evaluate the connection parameters between cortex regions with reduced cortex thickness due to aging, and will check how these connections behave with aging. In our hypothesis, tracts connecting cortex regions affected by aging have increased axonal degradation when compared with other tracts in the brain. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PINTO, MAIRA SIQUEIRA; DOS SANTOS, ANTONIO CARLOS; SALMON, CARLOS ERNESTO GARRIDO. Age-related assessment of diffusion parameters in specific brain tracts correlated with cortical thinning. NEUROLOGICAL SCIENCES, v. 42, n. 5, . (15/26227-7)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
PINTO, Maíra Siqueira. Study of human structural brain connectivity in healthy aging based on tracts. 2018. Master's Dissertation - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (PCARP/BC) Ribeirão Preto.

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