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Clinical applications of advanced diffusion MRI in Epilepsy

Integrating advanced tissue microstructure imaging into the individual diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy.

Aims

To derive automated processing worksflows that provide maximal insight from tissue microstructure imaging to individual diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of the Epilepsies. 

The role of advanced neuroimaging in Epilepsy is progressively translating to individual diagnosis and prediction. This is exemplified in the Australian Epilepsy Project application, where state-of-the-art imaging and analyses are to be combined with long-term patient follow-up and artificial intelligence techniques to build prognostic predictors for future epilepsy diagnoses and treatments.

One imaging modality that has been in persistent technological development over the past decades, yet has thus far not been utilised to its full potential in this domain, is Diffusion MRI. This method exploits the random motion of water molecules within neuronal tissue to interrogate the microstructural properties of such tissue; this information can additionally be used with computational methods to reconstruct the structural connectivity pathways between different areas of the brain.

A student taking on this project would act as the intersection between state-of-the-art diffusion MRI acquisition and image processing, biophysical modelling, automated image processing workflows, and clinical knowledge and outstanding questions regarding the Epilepsies. Workflows would be developed that would produce those qualitative and quantitative outputs most pertinent for clinical assessment, and integrate the unique insights of this imaging technique into the multi-modal capabilities of future analyses.

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