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  1. Yap, Pew-Thian (Ed.)
    Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) with multiple, high b-values is critical for extracting tissue microstructure measurements; however, high b-value DWI images contain high noise levels that can overwhelm the signal of interest and bias microstructural measurements. Here, we propose a simple denoising method that can be applied to any dataset, provided a low-noise, single-subject dataset is acquired using the same DWI sequence. The denoising method uses a one-dimensional convolutional neural network (1D-CNN) and deep learning to learn from a low-noise dataset, voxel-by-voxel. The trained model can then be applied to high-noise datasets from other subjects. We validated the 1D-CNN denoising method by first demonstrating that 1D-CNN denoising resulted in DWI images that were more similar to the noise-free ground truth than comparable denoising methods, e.g., MP-PCA, using simulated DWI data. Using the same DWI acquisition but reconstructed with two common reconstruction methods, i.e. SENSE1 and sum-of-square, to generate a pair of low-noise and high-noise datasets, we then demonstrated that 1D-CNN denoising of high-noise DWI data collected from human subjects showed promising results in three domains: DWI images, diffusion metrics, and tractography. In particular, the denoised images were very similar to a low-noise reference image of that subject, more than the similaritymore »between repeated low-noise images (i.e. computational reproducibility). Finally, we demonstrated the use of the 1D-CNN method in two practical examples to reduce noise from parallel imaging and simultaneous multi-slice acquisition. We conclude that the 1D-CNN denoising method is a simple, effective denoising method for DWI images that overcomes some of the limitations of current state-of-the-art denoising methods, such as the need for a large number of training subjects and the need to account for the rectified noise floor.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 15, 2023
  2. Abstract

    The functional and computational properties of brain areas are determined, in large part, by their connectivity profiles. Advances in neuroimaging and network neuroscience allow us to characterize the human brain noninvasively, but a comprehensive understanding of the human brain demands an account of the anatomy of brain connections. Long-range anatomical connections are instantiated by white matter, which itself is organized into tracts. These tracts are often disrupted by central nervous system disorders, and they can be targeted by neuromodulatory interventions, such as deep brain stimulation. Here, we characterized the connections, morphology, traversal, and functions of the major white matter tracts in the brain. There are major discrepancies across different accounts of white matter tract anatomy, hindering our attempts to accurately map the connectivity of the human brain. However, we are often able to clarify the source(s) of these discrepancies through careful consideration of both histological tract-tracing and diffusion-weighted tractography studies. In combination, the advantages and disadvantages of each method permit novel insights into brain connectivity. Ultimately, our synthesis provides an essential reference for neuroscientists and clinicians interested in brain connectivity and anatomy, allowing for the study of the association of white matter’s properties with behavior, development, and disorders.

  3. Abstract

    Multiple human behaviors improve early in life, peaking in young adulthood, and declining thereafter. Several properties of brain structure and function progress similarly across the lifespan. Cognitive and neuroscience research has approached aging primarily using associations between a few behaviors, brain functions, and structures. Because of this, the multivariate, global factors relating brain and behavior across the lifespan are not well understood. We investigated the global patterns of associations between 334 behavioral and clinical measures and 376 brain structural connections in 594 individuals across the lifespan. A single-axis associated changes in multiple behavioral domains and brain structural connections (r = 0.5808). Individual variability within the single association axis well predicted the age of the subject (r = 0.6275). Representational similarity analysis evidenced global patterns of interactions across multiple brain network systems and behavioral domains. Results show that global processes of human aging can be well captured by a multivariate data fusion approach.

  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  5. Abstract The degree to which glaucoma has effects in the brain beyond the eye and the visual pathways is unclear. To clarify this, we investigated white matter microstructure (WMM) in 37 tracts of patients with glaucoma, monocular blindness, and controls. We used brainlife.io for reproducibility. White matter tracts were subdivided into seven categories ranging from those primarily involved in vision (the visual white matter) to those primarily involved in cognition and motor control. In the vision tracts, WMM was decreased as measured by fractional anisotropy in both glaucoma and monocular blind subjects compared to controls, suggesting neurodegeneration due to reduced sensory inputs. A test–retest approach was used to validate these results. The pattern of results was different in monocular blind subjects, where WMM properties increased outside the visual white matter as compared to controls. This pattern of results suggests that whereas in the monocular blind loss of visual input might promote white matter reorganization outside of the early visual system, such reorganization might be reduced or absent in glaucoma. The results provide indirect evidence that in glaucoma unknown factors might limit the reorganization as seen in other patient groups following visual loss.
  6. Abstract We describe a collection of T1-, diffusion- and functional T2*-weighted magnetic resonance imaging data from human individuals with albinism and achiasma. This repository can be used as a test-bed to develop and validate tractography methods like diffusion-signal modeling and fiber tracking as well as to investigate the properties of the human visual system in individuals with congenital abnormalities. The MRI data is provided together with tools and files allowing for its preprocessing and analysis, along with the data derivatives such as manually curated masks and regions of interest for performing tractography.
  7. Decentralized research data management (dRDM) systems handle digital research objects across participating nodes without critically relying on central services. We present four perspectives in defense of dRDM, illustrating that, in contrast to centralized or federated RDM solutions, a dRDM system based on heterogeneous but interoperable components can offer a sustainable, resilient, inclusive, and adaptive infrastructure for scientific stakeholders: An individual scientist or lab, a research institute, a domain data archive or cloud computing platform, and a collaborative multi-site consortium. All perspectives share the use of a common, self-contained, portable data structure as an abstraction from current technology and service choices. In conjunction, the four perspectives review how varying requirements of independent scientific stakeholders can be addressed by a scalable, uniform dRDM solution, and present a working system as an exemplary implementation.
  8. Abstract Tractography has created new horizons for researchers to study brain connectivity in vivo. However, tractography is an advanced and challenging method that has not been used so far for medical data analysis at a large scale in comparison to other traditional brain imaging methods. This work allows tractography to be used for large scale and high-quality medical analytics. BUndle ANalytics (BUAN) is a fast, robust, and flexible computational framework for real-world tractometric studies. BUAN combines tractography and anatomical information to analyze the challenging datasets and identifies significant group differences in specific locations of the white matter bundles. Additionally, BUAN takes the shape of the bundles into consideration for the analysis. BUAN compares the shapes of the bundles using a metric called bundle adjacency which calculates shape similarity between two given bundles. BUAN builds networks of bundle shape similarities that can be paramount for automating quality control. BUAN is freely available in DIPY. Results are presented using publicly available Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative data.
  9. Abstract

    We describe a dataset of processed data with associated reproducible preprocessing pipeline collected from two collegiate athlete groups and one non-athlete group. The dataset shares minimally processed diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) data, three models of the diffusion signal in the voxel, full-brain tractograms, segmentation of the major white matter tracts as well as structural connectivity matrices. There is currently a paucity of similar datasets openly shared. Furthermore, major challenges are associated with collecting this type of data. The data and derivatives shared here can be used as a reference to study the effects of long-term exposure to collegiate athletics, such as the effects of repetitive head impacts. We use advanced anatomical and dMRI data processing methods publicly available as reproducible web services at brainlife.io.