Modelling functional processes of brain tissue (Master thesis)

Ντέμου, Αμαλία

The current master thesis presents a detailed study of Brain Connectivity with the use of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data for the Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), a neurological sleep disorder which affects a large number of people worldwide. After studying prior literature recordings regarding brain connectivity analysis of RLS, relying on fMRI, it was observed that these studies are constrained to certain computation methods, a fact which possibly leads to limited inferences concerning the disease. An analytical description of brain connectivity types and their extraction methods are presented aiming to the modeling of the brain tissue. In the first chapter of the current thesis, the sleep disorders and their classification are described, depending on their special characteristics and their effect on subjects’ health and quality of life. A detailed description regarding the sleep disorder phenomenon is presented, including epidemiological and pathophysiological elements, diagnostic and treatment criteria as well as the clinical presentation of the disease. The next chapter involves the operation principles of the popular diagnostic method fMRI, reporting the BOLD mechanism, the types of experimental design, the image acquisition, the fMRI time-series, the clinical applications as well as its advantages and disadvantages. A state-of-the-art analysis on imaging methods for RLS was conducted and methodologies and results of various studies are presented in the next chapter. They include PET, SPECT, structural MRI, EEG and resting state fMRI, focusing on the conclusions of the latter because of the need for their comparison with our current study findings. In the fourth chapter an extensive presentation of the tree types of brain connectivity (structural, functional and effective connectivity) is given, in parallel with the proposed methods for their analysis. The fifth chapter includes the results of the experimental part of the current thesis. In particular, the results coming from the establishment of the proposed methodology are presented and analyzed, following alternative approaches compared to the existing studies to emphasize the novelty of our work. The sixth chapter includes further discussion and conclusions on the results of the methodology followed and new trends are proposed for further future investigation.
Institution and School/Department of submitter: Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων. Πολυτεχνική Σχολή. Τμήμα Μηχανικών Επιστήμης Υλικών
Subject classification: Restless legs syndrome
Keywords: Restless legs syndrome,Εγκεφαλικός ιστός
Appears in Collections:Διατριβές Μεταπτυχιακής Έρευνας (Masters)

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