Brain MRI can provide important supportive evidence for the diagnosis of dementia. For that purpose, most patients that visit the Alzheimer Center at Erasmus MC undergo an MRI scan. Current clinical routine is that a radiologist assesses multiple MR sequences visually on the presence of abnormalities, such as atrophy and white matter lesions. Recently, within Erasmus MC neuroradiologists started to assess atrophy on structural MRI scans also quantitatively. This is done by means of dedicated software supplied by the company Quantib (https://www.quantib.com/solutions/quantib-nd). Output of this software enables the radiologist to compare brain tissue volumes of an individual patient to reference data from a large group of healthy individuals of the same age and sex, and as such to determine if brain tissue volume in a patient is (ab)normal compared to normal aging. We are currently investigating whether such quantitative assessment of brain MRI has added value for the diagnosis of dementia (e.g. decrease in time to diagnosis, less additional diagnostic exams such PET imaging and/or lumbar punctures). Additionally, we are assessing whether the use of such software affects diagnostic confidence of the radiologist.
Quantib is not the only software for automated normative quantification of brain MRI data to support diagnosis. In recent years, many similar applications have been developed. As such, software developed by the company Quibim (https://quibim.com/biomarkers_accordions_brain_volumetry/) is now also available at our department. During this research project, you will work with the results of both Quantib and Quibim for retrospective patient data. You will investigate whether the algorithms generate similar results with respect to accuracy and the extent of information; and if and how these software packages could create (added) value for patients and clinicians.
The Erasmus MC is an internationally recognised academic center where teaching and research are closely linked, ensuring high quality and innovative health care. This project will be conducted at the Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine. You will be working with radiologists and biomedical scientists and in the multi-disciplinary setting of the Alzheimer Center Erasmus MC.
If you are a creative and analytic student with an affinity for the fields of brain imaging and dementia, we are looking for you! Good communication and writing skills are a pre-requisite.
Information and application
Supervisors (Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, Erasmus MC):
Prof. Meike Vernooij
Dr. Jan-Jaap Visser
Dr. Rebecca Steketee
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