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Title: Imaging biomarkers extraction and classification for Prion disease
Author: dos Santos Canas, Liane
ISNI:       0000 0004 9353 2320
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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Prion diseases are a group of rare neurodegenerative conditions characterised by a high rate of progression and highly heterogeneous phenotypes. Whilst the most common form of prion disease occurs sporadically (sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, sCJD), other forms are caused by inheritance of prion protein gene mutations or exposure to prions. To date, there are no accurate imaging biomarkers that can be used to predict the future diagnosis of a subject or to quantify the progression of symptoms over time. Besides, CJD is commonly mistaken for other forms of dementia. Due to the large heterogeneity of phenotypes of prion disease and the lack of a consistent spatial pattern of disease progression, the approaches used to study other types of neurodegenerative diseases are not satisfactory to capture the progression of the human form of prion disease. Using a tailored framework, I extracted quantitative imaging biomarkers for characterisation of patients with Prion diseases. Following the extraction of patient-specific imaging biomarkers from multiple images, I implemented a Gaussian Process approach to correlated symptoms with disease types and stages. The model was used on three different tasks: diagnosis, differential diagnosis and stratification, addressing an unmet need to automatically identify patients with or at risk of developing Prion disease. The work presented in this thesis has been extensively validated in a unique Prion disease cohort, comprising both the inherited and sporadic forms of the disease. The model has shown to be effective in the prediction of this illness. Furthermore, this approach may have used in other disorders with heterogeneous imaging features, being an added value for the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases. Lastly, given the rarity of this disease, I also addressed the issue of missing data and the limitations raised by it. Overall, this work presents progress towards modelling of Prion diseases and which computational methodologies are potentially suitable for its characterisation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available