White Matter Evaluation with Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging Techniques at High Field Strength and Multiparametric Correlation with Volumetry and Phosphorus Spectroscopy in Patients with Epilepsy and Malformations of Cortical Development
Malformations of cortical development (MCD) result from disturbances in the complex process of development of the human cerebral cortex, and are frequently associated with severe epilepsy and neurodevelopment disorders. Currently, the multiplanar study with high resolution magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is the cornerstone in the evaluation of patients with epilepsy. Modern imaging techniques have improved not only the ability to detect and characterize the cortical malformations, but also led to the recognition of associated functional abnormalities that are far beyond the visualized structural lesions.The MCD can affect both the cortical gray matter and the subcortical white matter, and can be either focal or diffuse in the brain. New MR techniques based on the principles of diffusion and anisotropy can provide information about the anatomy, connectivity and organization of white matter tracts in the human brain in vivo.Multiparametric analysis of brain connectivity data (diffusion tensor imaging) with other advanced MR techniques of morphometry (volumetry) and metabolic analysis (phosphorus spectrosocopy), as well as correlation with clinical and electroencephalographic data will bring up a new global scenario of morphofunctional assessment of patients with MCD. These modalities have the potential to further characterize the macro and microstructure of the brain, aiding in the understanding of epileptogenesis.The research proposed in this project aims to provide innovative data about the structural and functional organization of the brain in patients with epilpesy and MCD, using advanced computational processing of high field MR images.
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