Observatorio de I+D+i UPM

Memorias de investigación
Multimodal integration of functional and structural brain connectivity (UPM)
Áreas de investigación
  • Ciencias naturales y ciencias de la salud
In this thesis I apply concepts from mathematics, physics and statistics to the neurosciences. This field benefits from the collaborative work of multidisciplinary teams where physicians, psychologists, engineers and other specialists fight for a common well: the understanding of the brain. Research on this field is still in its early years, being its birth attributed to the neuronal theory of Santiago Ramo¿n y Cajal in 1888. In more than one hundred years only a very little percentage of the brain functioning has been discovered, and still much more needs to be explored. Isolated techniques aim at unraveling the system that supports our cognition, nevertheless in order to provide solid evidence in such a field multimodal techniques have arisen, with them we will be able to improve current knowledge about human cognition. Here we focus on the multimodal integration of magnetoencephalography (MEG) and diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging. These techniques are sensitive to the magnetic fields emitted by the neuronal currents and to the white matter microstructure, respectively. The combination of such techniques could bring up evidences about structural-functional synergies in the brain information processing and which part of this synergy fails in specific neurological pathologies. In particular, we are interested in the relationship between functional and structural connectivity, and how two integrate this information. We quantify the functional connectivity by studying the phase synchronization or the amplitude correlation between time series obtained by MEG, and so we get an index indicating similarity between neuronal entities, i.e. brain regions. In addition we quantify structural connectivity by performing diffusion tensor estimation from the diffusion weighted images, thus obtaining an indicator of the integrity of the white matter or, if preferred, the strength of the structural connections between regions. These quantifications are then combined following three different approaches, from the lowest to the highest level of integration, in chapters 3, 4 and 5. We finally apply the fused information to the characterization or prediction of mild cognitive impairment, a clinical entity which is considered as an early step in the continuum pathological process of dementia. The dissertation is divided in six chapters. In chapter 1 I introduce connectomics within the fields of neuroimaging and neuroscience. Later in this chapter we describe the objectives of this thesis, and the specific objectives of each of the scientific publications that were produced as result of this work. In chapter 2 I describe the methods for each of the techniques that were employed, namely structural connectivity, resting state functional connectivity, complex brain networks and graph theory, and finally, I describe the clinical condition of mild cognitive impairment and the current state of the art in the search for early biomarkers. In chapters 3, 4 and 5 I have included the scientific publications that were generated along this work. They have been included in in their original format and they contain introduction, materials and methods, results and discussion. All methods that were employed in these papers have been described in chapter 2. Finally, in chapter 6 I summarize all the results from this thesis, both locally for each of the scientific publications and globally for the whole work.
Tipo de Tesis
Sobresaliente cum laude
Esta actividad pertenece a memorias de investigación
  • Director: Francisco del Pozo Guerrero (UPM)
  • Autor: Jose Angel Pineda Pardo (UPM)
Grupos de investigación, Departamentos, Centros e Institutos de I+D+i relacionados
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Tecnologías para Ciencias de la Salud
  • Centro o Instituto I+D+i: Centro de tecnología Biomédica CTB
  • Departamento: Tecnología Fotónica y Bioingeniería
S2i 2018 Observatorio de investigación @ UPM con la colaboración del Consejo Social UPM
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNCIDE 2011 (OTR-2011-0236)
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNPACTO (IPT-020000-2010-22)