Radiology - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 114
Novel Functional MRI Task for Studying the Neural Correlates of Upper Limb Tremor
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2018-07-02)
Introduction: Tremor of the upper limbs is a disabling symptom that is present during several neurological disorders and is currently without treatment. Functional MRI (fMRI) is an essential tool to investigate the pathophysiology of tremor and aid the development of treatment options. However, no adequately or standardized protocols for fMRI exists at present. Here we present a novel, online available fMRI task that could be used to assess the in vivo pathology of tremor. Objective: This study aims to validate the tremor-evoking potential of the fMRI task in a small group of tremor patients outside the scanner and assess the reproducibility of the fMRI task related activation in healthy controls. Methods: Twelve HCs were scanned at two time points (baseline and after 6-weeks). There were two runs of multi-band fMRI and the tasks included a "brick-breaker" joystick game. The game consisted of three conditions designed to control for most of the activation related to performing the task by contrasting the conditions: WATCH (look at the game without moving joystick), MOVE (rhythmic left/right movement of joystick without game), and PLAY (playing the game). Task fMRI was analyzed using FSL FEAT to determine clusters of activation during the different conditions. Maximum activation within the clusters was used to assess the ability to control for task related activation and reproducibility. Four tremor patients have been included to test ecological and construct validity of the joystick task by assessing tremor frequencies captured by the joystick. Results: In HCs the game activated areas corresponding to motor, attention and visual areas. Most areas of activation by our game showed moderate to good reproducibility (intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) 0.531-0.906) with only inferior parietal lobe activation showing poor reproducibility (ICC 0.446). Furthermore, the joystick captured significantly more tremulous movement in tremor patients compared to HCs (p = 0.01) during PLAY, but not during MOVE. Conclusion: Validation of our novel task confirmed tremor-evoking potential and reproducibility analyses yielded acceptable results to continue further investigations into the pathophysiology of tremor. The use of this technique in studies with tremor patient will no doubt provide significant insights into the treatment options.
Validation of the tremor biomechanics analysis laboratory (TREMBAL) software in MS tremor
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2016-09-01)
Type: Poster Abstract Category: Clinical aspects of MS - Clinical assessment tools Background: Tremor in MS (MST) is difficult to treat and the development of new interventions is limited by the absence of universal measuring systems. At present, therapeutic outcomes are measured by a variety of clinical rating scales that are subjective and lack sufficient sensitivity. With increasing use of interventional treatments such as Botulinum toxin injections or Deep Brain Stimulation for MST, it has become critical to develop precise measurement instruments. Objective: To clinically validate the TREMBAL software in MST. Methods: TREMBAL (Bionics Institute, Melbourne, Australia) utilises an electromagnetic motion tracker (Ascension, Vermont, US) to acquire absolute displacements and rotations of a tremulous body part. Tremor was recorded bilaterally from four locations (second phalanx of the middle finger, wrist dorsum, forearm and upper arm) in five positions (hands resting on lap, arms outstretched in front, finger-nose, batwing static and batwing action). Tremor exercises were video recorded (GoPro Hero3, GoPro Inc., San Mateo, California) and rated by two experts using the 5-point Unified Tremor Rating Assessment (UTRA) scale where 0=no tremor and 4=severe. TREMBAL tremor displacements (measured in units of millimetres) were averaged and log transformed to match the distribution of clinical ratings. Data were pooled across exercises. Congruence between TREMBAL measures and mean clinical ratings was explored using regression analysis and Pearson´s correlation. Results: We assessed ten MST patients over 6 months and rated 200 videos. The median pooled UTRA score was 0.5 (interquartile range 0, 1.5). The average TREMBAL recorded tremor displacement was 1.65 mm (standard deviation 2.1). A strong correlation between UTRA scores and log transformed TREMBAL displacement was found, r = 0.749, p< 0.001. Conclusions: TREMBAL measurements are highly accurate when compared to clinical measurements. While other objective tremor measures exist, only a few have been benchmarked specifically against MST clinical ratings. The validation of an objective, 3 dimensional tremor measurement system provides real-time tremor severity measurements for clinicians and can be applied in clinical trials of putative therapies for MST.
Validation of a precision tremor measurement system for multiple sclerosis
(ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 2019-01-01)
BACKGROUND: Tremor is a debilitating symptom of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Little is known about its pathophysiology and treatments are limited. Clinical trials investigating new interventions often rely on subjective clinical rating scales to provide supporting evidence of efficacy. NEW METHOD: We present a novel instrument (TREMBAL) which uses electromagnetic motion capture technology to quantify MS tremor. We aim to validate TREMBAL by comparison to clinical ratings using regression modelling with 310 samples of tremor captured from 13 MS participants who performed five different hand exercises during several follow-up visits. Minimum detectable change (MDC) and test-retest reliability were calculated and comparisons were made between MS tremor and data from 12 healthy volunteers. RESULTS: Velocity of the index finger was most congruent with clinical observation. Regression modelling combining different features, sensor configurations, and labelling exercises did not improve results. TREMBAL MDC was 84% of its initial measurement compared to 91% for the clinical rating. Intra-class correlations for test-retest reliability were 0.781 for TREMBAL and 0.703 for clinical ratings. Tremor was lower (p = 0.002) in healthy subjects. COMPARISON WITH EXISTING METHODS: Subjective scales have low sensitivity, suffer from ceiling effects, and mitigation against inter-rater variability is challenging. Inertial sensors are ubiquitous, however, their output is nonlinearly related to tremor frequency, compensation is required for gravitational artefacts, and their raw data cannot be intuitively comprehended. CONCLUSIONS: TREMBAL, compared with clinical ratings, gave measures in agreement with clinical observation, had marginally lower MDC, and similar test-retest reliability.
What speech can tell us: A systematic review of dysarthria characteristics in Multiple Sclerosis
(ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 2018-12-01)
IMPORTANCE: Multiple sclerosis produces neurological impairments that are variable in duration, severity and quality. Speech is frequently impaired, resulting in decreased communication skills and quality of life. Advancements in technology now makes it possible to use quantitative acoustic assessment of speech as biomarkers of disease progression. OBSERVATIONS: Four domains of speech have been identified: articulation (slow articulation and imprecise consonants), voice (pitch and loudness instability), respiration (decreased phonatory time and expiratory pressure) and prosody (longer and frequent pauses, deficient loudness control). Studies also explored I) predictive models for diagnosis of MS and of ataxia using speech variables, II) the relationship of dysarthria with cognition and III) very few studies correlated neuroimaging with dysarthria. We could not identify longitudinal studies of speech or dysarthria in Multiple Sclerosis. CONCLUSION AND RELEVANCE: Refinement of objective measures of speech has enhanced our understanding of Multiple Sclerosis-related deficits in cross-sectional analysis while both integrative and longitudinal studies are identified as major gaps. This review highlights the potential for using quantitative acoustic assessments as clinical endpoints for diagnosing, monitoring progression and treatment in disease modifying trials.
Feasibility of identifying the ideal locations for motor intention decoding using unimodal and multimodal classification at 7T-fMRI
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2018-10-22)
Invasive Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) require surgeries with high health-risks. The risk-to-benefit ratio of the procedure could potentially be improved by pre-surgically identifying the ideal locations for mental strategy classification. We recorded high-spatiotemporal resolution blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) signals using functional MRI at 7 Tesla in eleven healthy participants during two motor imagery tasks. BCI diagnostic task isolated the intent to imagine movements, while BCI simulation task simulated the neural states that may be yielded in a real-life BCI-operation scenario. Imagination of movements were classified from the BOLD signals in sub-regions of activation within a single or multiple dorsal motor network regions. Then, the participant's decoding performance during the BCI simulation task was predicted from the BCI diagnostic task. The results revealed that drawing information from multiple regions compared to a single region increased the classification accuracy of imagined movements. Importantly, systematic unimodal and multimodal classification revealed the ideal combination of regions that yielded the best classification accuracy at the individual-level. Lastly, a given participant's decoding performance achieved during the BCI simulation task could be predicted from the BCI diagnostic task. These results show the feasibility of 7T-fMRI with unimodal and multimodal classification being utilized for identifying ideal sites for mental strategy classification.
Endovascular Thrombectomy for Ischemic Stroke Increases Disability-Free Survival, Quality of Life, and Life Expectancy and Reduces Cost
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2017-12-14)
Background: Endovascular thrombectomy improves functional outcome in large vessel occlusion ischemic stroke. We examined disability, quality of life, survival and acute care costs in the EXTEND-IA trial, which used CT-perfusion imaging selection. Methods: Large vessel ischemic stroke patients with favorable CT-perfusion were randomized to endovascular thrombectomy after alteplase versus alteplase-only. Clinical outcome was prospectively measured using 90-day modified Rankin scale (mRS). Individual patient expected survival and net difference in Disability/Quality-adjusted life years (DALY/QALY) up to 15 years from stroke were modeled using age, sex, 90-day mRS, and utility scores. Level of care within the first 90 days was prospectively measured and used to estimate procedure and inpatient care costs (US$ reference year 2014). Results: There were 70 patients, 35 in each arm, mean age 69, median NIHSS 15 (IQR 12-19). The median (IQR) disability-weighted utility score at 90 days was 0.65 (0.00-0.91) in the alteplase-only versus 0.91 (0.65-1.00) in the endovascular group (p = 0.005). Modeled life expectancy was greater in the endovascular versus alteplase-only group (median 15.6 versus 11.2 years, p = 0.02). The endovascular thrombectomy group had fewer simulated DALYs lost over 15 years [median (IQR) 5.5 (3.2-8.7) versus 8.9 (4.7-13.8), p = 0.02] and more QALY gained [median (IQR) 9.3 (4.2-13.1) versus 4.9 (0.3-8.5), p = 0.03]. Endovascular patients spent less time in hospital [median (IQR) 5 (3-11) days versus 8 (5-14) days, p = 0.04] and rehabilitation [median (IQR) 0 (0-28) versus 27 (0-65) days, p = 0.03]. The estimated inpatient costs in the first 90 days were less in the thrombectomy group (average US$15,689 versus US$30,569, p = 0.008) offsetting the costs of interhospital transport and the thrombectomy procedure (average US$10,515). The average saving per patient treated with thrombectomy was US$4,365. Conclusion: Thrombectomy patients with large vessel occlusion and salvageable tissue on CT-perfusion had reduced length of stay and overall costs to 90 days. There was evidence of clinically relevant improvement in long-term survival and quality of life. Clinical Trial Registration: http://www.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01492725 (registered 20/11/2011).
The use of computed tomography in determining developmental changes, anomalies, and trauma of the thyroid cartilage
(HUMANA PRESS INC, 2013-09-01)
Recognition of injury to the hyoid bone and thyroid and cricoid cartilages is intrinsic to post-mortem examination. Due to its increasing brittleness with age the thyroid cartilage is particularly susceptible to injury following neck trauma, although there is inconsistency in the patterns of injury reported. In this study computed tomography scans of the head and neck of 431 deceased persons (235 males and 196 females) between the ages of 1 day and 100 years (mean age 35.93 ± 24.15), and including 25 victims of hangings, were examined to reveal the pattern of age-related change and the types of injury that occurred. Thyroid cartilage anomalies likely to cause confusion and be misinterpreted as trauma-related are documented. Angulation of the thyroid cartilage horns was found to change with age, and it is suggested this may be a significant factor in traumatic neck injury. Unlike in previous reports, the average age of hanging victims with fractures to the thyroid cartilage was 34 years. The base of the superior horn was the most common fracture site and in 50 % of hanging cases was associated with a ligature positioned on the thyrohyoid membrane or thyroid lamina. Although an age-related relationship exists it was not possible to establish narrow age-prediction ranges from calcification of the thyroid cartilage.