Probing the link between spreading brain atrophy and functional connectivity

Recording of Presentation

Event

Speaker:  Jesse Brown, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Memory and Aging Center

Department of Neurology

University of California San Francisco

Bio: Jesse is a systems neuroscientist who applies tools from neuroimaging, machine learning, and mathematics. His work focuses on understanding functional and anatomical brain connectivity, and building translational tools to improve the diagnostic and prognostic accuracy of typical and atypical aging trajectories. jesseab.org/

Talk Abstract: Neurodegenerative diseases appear to progress by spreading through brain networks. I will describe how we determine patient-specific “epicenters” in patients with frontotemporal dementia and use a connectome-based spreading model to forecast future atrophy. We show that we can accurately predict longitudinal atrophy in most patients and find evidence that degeneration spreads from the epicenter in a nonlinear fashion. This approach raises important questions about the neuroanatomical basis of functional connectivity, which gradients may shed light on. Building on this, I will share a new study where we derive functional activity gradients, describe a number of novel anatomical and dynamic properties of these gradients, and discuss their implications for selective vulnerability to disease.

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