Dementia disorders are increasingly becoming sources of a broad range of problems, strongly interfering with the normal daily tasks of a growing number of individuals. Such neurodegenerative diseases are often accompanied with progressive brain atrophy that, at late stages, leads to drastically reduced brain dimensions. Currently, this structural change could be followed with X-ray computed tomography (XCT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but they share numerous disadvantages in terms of usability, invasiveness and costs. In this work, we aim to retrieve information concerning the brain-atrophy stage and its evolution, proposing a novel approach based on non-invasive time-resolved near infra-red (tr-NIR) measurements. For this purpose, we created a set of virtual human-head atlases in which we eroded the brain as it would happen in a clinical brain-atrophy progression. These realistic meshes were used to simulate a longitudinal tr-NIR study, investigating the effects of an increased amount of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) in the photon diffusion. The analysis of late photons in the time-resolved reflectance curve–obtained via accurate Monte Carlo simulations–exhibited peculiar slope-changes upon CSF layer increase. The visibility of the effect under several measurement conditions suggested good sensitivity to CSF variation, even in the case of real measurement and under different geometrical models. The robustness of the results might promote the technique as a potential indicator of the dementia progression, relying only on fast and non-invasive optical observations.

Noninvasive optical estimation of CSF thickness for brain-atrophy monitoring

ANCORA, DANIELE;Qiu, Lina;Spinelli, Lorenzo;Torricelli, Alessandro;Pifferi, Antonio
2018

Abstract

Dementia disorders are increasingly becoming sources of a broad range of problems, strongly interfering with the normal daily tasks of a growing number of individuals. Such neurodegenerative diseases are often accompanied with progressive brain atrophy that, at late stages, leads to drastically reduced brain dimensions. Currently, this structural change could be followed with X-ray computed tomography (XCT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but they share numerous disadvantages in terms of usability, invasiveness and costs. In this work, we aim to retrieve information concerning the brain-atrophy stage and its evolution, proposing a novel approach based on non-invasive time-resolved near infra-red (tr-NIR) measurements. For this purpose, we created a set of virtual human-head atlases in which we eroded the brain as it would happen in a clinical brain-atrophy progression. These realistic meshes were used to simulate a longitudinal tr-NIR study, investigating the effects of an increased amount of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) in the photon diffusion. The analysis of late photons in the time-resolved reflectance curve–obtained via accurate Monte Carlo simulations–exhibited peculiar slope-changes upon CSF layer increase. The visibility of the effect under several measurement conditions suggested good sensitivity to CSF variation, even in the case of real measurement and under different geometrical models. The robustness of the results might promote the technique as a potential indicator of the dementia progression, relying only on fast and non-invasive optical observations.
Biotechnology; Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1063177
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