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Conference Program

Schedule of presentations at the conference

Scientific Program

Below is the conference itinerary. Please note that changes may be made up until the day of the conference.

07:45 - 08:15 Registration and light breakfast Foyer of Oscar Peterson Hall
08:15 - 08:30 Opening of conference,   Dr. Louis Bherer, Scientific Director, PERFORM Centre
Welcome remarks,   Dr. Graham Carr, VP Research and Graduate Studies
Session 1
8:30 - 8:35
Chair: Dr. Louis Bherer & Dr. Christophe Grova
Opening remarks
08:35 - 09:20 Alan Evans, McGill University
“Multimodal network modeling in neurodegeneration”  

Late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) is a multi-factorial disorder, often associated with the propagation of the misfolded protein, beta amyloid (the amyloid hypothesis). We will describe a network-mediated model of beta-amyloid progression, using white matter connectivity as the network through which beta-amyloid is propagated throughout the brain. This epidemic spreading model (ESM, Iturria-Medina et al., 2014)) is a causal model of disease propagation based on beta-amyoloid. However, current models that define LOAD pathogenesis typically do not cover all biological factors influencing disease progression. Indeed, in the most cited LOAD model (Jack et al., 2013), a vascular dysregulation component is not included, despite it being a core mechanism in the disease. Therefore, we will also present a non-causal Multi-Factorial Data-Driven Analysis (MFDDA) (Iturria-Medina et al. 2016) to describe dynamic alterations in proteins, vascular, metabolic, functional and structural properties in LOAD. These flexible frameworks, ESM and MFDDA, provide a 4D spatiotemporal characterization of the multi-factorial LOAD abnormalities. In due course we propose to combine the two into a multi-factorial, causal model that will capture the majority of actors involved in LOAD progression.

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Oscar Peterson Hall
09:20 - 10:05 Pedro Antonio Valdes-Sosa, Cuban Neuroscience Center
“Multimodal quantitative neuroimaging databases and methods: the Cuban human brain mapping project”  

This presentations reviews the contributions of the Cuban Neuroscience Center to the evolution of the statistical parametric mapping (SPM) of quantitative Multimodal Neuroimages (qMN), from its inception to more recent work. Attention is limited to methods that compare individual qMN to normative databases (n/qMN). This evolution is described in three successive stages: (a) the development of one variant of normative topographical quantitative EEG (n/qEEG-top) which carries out statistical comparison of individual EEG spectral topographies with regard to a normative database--as part of the now popular SPM of brain descriptive parameters; (b) the development of n/qEEG tomography (n/qEEG-TOM), which employs brain electrical tomography (BET) to calculate voxelwise SPM maps of source spectral features with respect to a norm; (c) the development of a more general n/qMN by substituting EEG parameters with other neuroimaging descriptive parameters to obtain SPM maps. The study also describes the creation of Cuban normative databases, starting with the Cuban EEG database obtained in the early 90s, and more recently, the Cuban Human Brain Mapping Project (CHBMP). This project has created a 240 subject database of the normal Cuban population, obtained from a population-based random sample, comprising clinical, neuropsychological, EEG, MRI and SPECT data for the same subjects. Examples of clinical studies using qMN are given and, more importantly, receiver operator characteristics (ROC) analyses of the different developments document a sustained effort to assess the clinical usefulness of the techniques.

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Oscar Peterson Hall
10:05 - 10:50 Coffee break for all registrants and Poster Viewing * Loyola Chapel
Session 2
10:50 - 10:55
Chair: Dr. Sylvia Santosa
Opening remarks
10:55 - 11:40 Wei Shen, Columbia University
“Body composition imaging method in obesity research”  

Imaging methods including 3-D photonic scan, Computed Tomography (CT), dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) are non-invasive methods for studying human body composition and its related physiological conditions. Without concerns of radiation, MRI and MRS is ideal for characterizing key aspects of obesity including its phenotype, severity, and treatment effects in vivo. Recent advances in MRI and MRS made it possible to quantify total body and regional adiposity, to map adipose tissue distribution, and to evaluate ectopic fat.

MRI and CT are also increasingly used in both clinical trials and clinical care. These images are used for diagnosis, disease staging, as well as treatment evaluation. Image measured obesity and body composition status might be used for evaluating improving disease outcomes. Obesity is a risk factor for many chronic diseases and obesity may interact with the underlying pathophysiology of different diseases. The digitalization and centralization of these images allowed for clarifying obesity related questions in various diseases. Imaging offers enormous opportunities in obesity care and prevention in diseases.

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Oscar Peterson Hall
11:40 - 12:25 Kirsi A. Virtanen, University of Turku
“Brown adipose tissue, a potential therapeutical target - what we have learned from imaging”  

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) has an unique capacity for thermogenesis under specific stimuli, for example cold exposure. Cold induces activation of sympathetic nervous system which results in heat production mediated by uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in BAT mitochondria.

Functional imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) combined with glucose analog 18F-FDG is used for the detection of functionally active BAT in humans. This noninvasive imaging technique provides information on tissue specific substrate utilization and in case of 18F-FDG is reflecting the activity of thermogenesis. Other PET tracers, such as perfusion tracer 15O-H2O or fatty acid tracer 18F-FTHA may be used as well.

In healthy adult humans, cold increases BAT glucose uptake 10-fold and BAT perfusion 2-fold when compared to thermoneutral situation in room temperature. Obviously, such an increase in glucose utilization may increase energy expenditure, and it has been estimated that functionally active BAT may burn energy as much as 3-4 kg white adipose tissue in a year. On the contrary, functional activity of BAT is clearly blunted in obesity. Therefore, activation of BAT may be potential target for the management of weight balance, and by increasing utilization of substrates in BAT may theoretically prevent development of type 2 diabetes.

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Oscar Peterson Hall
12:25 - 12:40 Presentation of PERFORM Awards and Fellowships Oscar Peterson Hall
12:40 - 13:55 Lunch for all registrants and Posters Viewing * Loyola Chapel
Session 3
13:55 - 14:00
Chair: Dr. Hassan Rivaz & Dr. Maryse Fortin
Opening remarks
14:00 - 14:45 Julie Hides, Australian Catholic University
“What do elite athletes, astronauts and LBP sufferers have in common”  

Microgravity induces well documented changes in the neuromuscular system. The decreased stimulus experienced during exposure to microgravity causes certain muscles to atrophy and alters muscle morphology. Most of the muscle losses occur in anti-gravity muscles of the lower back, pelvis and lower limbs, with a predominance of effect on extensors over flexors throughout the body. Similar patterns of muscle imbalance also occur in response prolonged bed rest, where some muscles atrophy, but others such as the psoas, rectus abdominis and anterolateral abdominal muscles increase in size. Interesting parallels can be seen with other populations on Earth. Low back pain (LBP) is known to have wide-ranging effects on the neuromuscular system. In acute LBP, muscles such as the lumbar multifidus can decrease rapidly in size. In contrast, other trunk muscles may increase their activity, which may represent a strategy of the neural control system to stiffen the spine. In certain sports, training and skills required to perform the sports can lead to development of muscle imbalances. In sports which are flexor dominant in nature, the size of extensor muscles can decrease. Within a group of muscles, such as the anterolateral abdominal muscles, the effects may vary between different muscles, which have different roles and are controlled independently by the neural system. Rehabilitation of muscle imbalance using a motor control training approach has been implemented in athletes. Results showed decreased injury rates in footballers, commensurate with changes in lumbo-pelvic muscles seen in response to motor control training.

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Oscar Peterson Hall
14:45 - 15:30 Timothy J. Hall, University of Wisconsin
“Quantitative imaging and image-based biomarkers in medicine”  

The use of medical imaging in screening, diagnosis, and treatment monitoring is well-established. Imaging modalities continue to benefit from rapid development in technology and utility. Ultrasound imaging provides a great example of this. Standard (brightness-mode) ultrasound imaging presents the local magnitude of the echo signal, but in doing so, it discards a great deal of information. Alternatively, the relatively high spatial resolution and high frame rate acquisitions provided by ultrasound imaging allows rapid temporal sampling for blood flow imaging. More recently, that high spatial and temporal resolution has been applied to estimate the elastic properties of tissues. These imaging strategies are already commercially available. Other promising techniques will be presented. But, regardless of the image formation strategy, the paradigm of interpretation and expert opinion from subjective analysis is problematic. Promising approaches in medicine, such as "molecular (personalized) medicine", "evidence-based medicine", and "decision-support tools" (computer-aided diagnosis) all require numerical input instead of subjective statements of opinion. As a result, the Radiological Society of North America is leading an international effort called the "Quantitative Imaging Biomarker Alliance" (QIBA) which is an attempt to improve value and practicality of quantitative imaging biomarkers by reducing variability across devices, patients, and time thereby converting 'imaging systems' to 'measurement systems'. The intent is to identify image-based "biomarkers" that are objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biologic or pathogenic processes, or pharmacological responses to a therapeutic intervention. The chosen biomarkers are objectively measured, have demonstrated clinical utility, and known components of estimate variance. The crossroads between the advanced imaging strategies and the QIBA effort provide a fruitful area for advances in medical imaging.

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Oscar Peterson Hall
15:30 - 16:00 Dr. Jean-Paul Soucy and Dr. Habib Benali
PERFORM highlights
Oscar Peterson Hall
16:00 - 16:30 Presentation of Scientific Poster Competition Awards
Closing remarks
Oscar Peterson Hall
16:30 - 17:30 Reception Foyer of Oscar Peterson Hall

* Optional tour of PERFORM available during the breaks. Signup required the morning of the event in the foyer of Oscar Peterson Hall.

Note: all presentations will be in English.

Questions? Contact us at performcentre@concordia.ca

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