SURF

Paulina Tarr

Interpreting Longitudinal Neuronal Atrophy Patterns for Multiple Sclerosis Patients in a Clinical Context

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and currently incurable neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system. While whole brain atrophy for multiple sclerosis cohorts are on average more pronounced than the healthy population, thenatural change due to aging and inherent morphological variability of the human brain has remained a persistent barrier in interpreting whether significant percent variable change in an individual patient is diagnostically relevant. Using FSLs SIENAX/SIENA toolkit and UCLs SPM toolkit on over 10,000 patients and over 50,000 anatomical magnetic resonance imaging scans, we hope to break this barrier by sensitively mapping the natural variability in brain morphological over the human lifespan and the cross-section variability to recognize a patients unique morphological context. Via state of the art cluster techniques, we aim to construct a sensitive diagnostic test that can delineate between healthy aging and pathological processes.

Message to Sponsor

I would like to thank my research mentors SURF sponsors for their generosity and support. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to study such an interesting and impactful topic as a SURF Fellow this summer. I am excited to make strides in MS research and develop further research skills as a scientist.
  • Major: Molecular Cell Biology
  • Sponsor: Pergo Fund
  • Mentor: Libby Gerard