THESIS DEFENSE — PUBLIC SEMINAR: BRAIN WHITE MATTER ABNORMALITIES IN PRODROMAL AND CLINICAL ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

Start Date & Time: 
Monday, 7 May, 2018 - 14:00
End Date & Time: 
Monday, 7 May, 2018 - 15:00
Venue: 

Amphitheatre, Level 2, Duke-NUS

Speaker: 
Speaker Details: 

JI, FANG
IBM PhD PROGRAM ( INTAKE 2013)

Synopsis: 

With increasing prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other types of dementia in the ageing population, it is imperative to understand the early cascade of neuropathological events in disease progression for early detection and intervention design. Here, we demonstrated how multimodal in vivo brain imaging, especially free-water (FW) imaging, contributed towards the understanding of neuropathological mechanisms underlying AD. Firstly, we identified differential FW increases and microstructural damage in normal-appearing white matter tissue in AD with and without cerebrovascular disease, which related to dementia severity. Moreover, FW increases, white matter, and grey matter degeneration exhibited differential trajectories between early- and late-onset prodromal and clinical AD patients. APOE-ε4 carriers also had greater grey matter volume loss and white matter deterioration than non-carriers. Lastly, we uncovered differential stage-dependent associations between abnormal brain structural and functional measures and memory impairment in AD. In conclusion, our studies underscore the value of FW imaging method in isolating microvascular degeneration or neuroinflammation-related extracellular water increases from white matter microstructural alterations in prodromal and clinical AD. Our findings highlight the importance of multimodal neuroimaging assays in characterising complex mechanisms and nuanced brain-cognition relationships along the disease continuum and provide guidance on early detection and intervention design.