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Image processing techniques for diagnosis and prognosis in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease

Professor D. Louis Collins, Department of Biomedical Engineering, McGill University

Image processing techniques for diagnosis and prognosis in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease

Prof. D. Louis Collins

What
  • CREATE-MIA Event
  • Seminar
When Mar 22, 2013
from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM
Where McConnell Engineering MC103
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Abstract

Alzheimer’s currently affects approximately 0.5 million people in Canada, 5 million in North America, 25 million worldwide and will quadruple in prevalence by 2050 due to aging of the population. The social and financial costs are enormous.  At present, it is estimated that the disease will affect 1 in 14 people that live to 80 years old.  The aging baby-boomers are changing the population demographics, increasing the total numbers of people with AD. The good news is that the pharmaceutical industry is on the verge of a breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

As in most diseases, early treatment of patients, before they have too much irreversible degeneration of brain tissue, is likely to be more effective. However, it is currently almost impossible to test drugs in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease, due to the fact that only about 10-15% of patients with symptoms of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) suggestive of possible Alzheimer’s disease will actually go on to develop Alzheimer’s per year. This percentage is too low to allow for reasonably sized clinical trials, and it is unlikely that regulators would approve a drug for a population of patients, most of whom will never get the disease.

In this talk, I will describe progress in image processing techniques (cortical thickness, local textures) from our lab to detect patterns of brain atrophy characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease and to use this information to generate statistical models to predict which patients with MCI will  rapidly go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

The tools we develop substantially facilitate the development of therapies for early Alzheimer’s disease.  They make it feasible to perform drug trials in patients with MCI due to early Alzheimer’s disease, and, looking forward, they will make it possible to select patients in the clinic for early treatment.

Note: MC103 is located in the McConnell Engineering building.  Click here for a map.

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Funded by NSERC

Funding provided by NSERC