MASARYK NEUROSCIENCE HUB
Reseach and Educational Neuroscience Platform
Multi-modal and Functional Neuroimaging Research Group is
Opening new PhD positions
in the field of Neurosciences
STATE DOCTORAL EXAMINATION AND THESIS DEFENSE 05/09/2023
Mgr. Lenka Jurkovičová, Ing. Ondřej Bečev
STATE DOCTORAL EXAMINATION AND THESES DEFENSES 04/25
Ing. Michaela Bartoňová, MUDr. Zuzana Balážová, Mgr. Monika Pupíková
Our Latest Research
Single-center long-term results of vagus nerve stimulation for pediatric epilepsy: a 10-17-year follow-up study
Purpose: A retrospective study, based on a prospectively built database, presents the results of long-term follow-up care of pediatric vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) patients in terms of seizure outcome, surgical aspects, the potential impact of maturation, and medication changes.
Methods: From a prospectively built database, 16 VNS patients (median age 12.0 years, range 6.0 to 16.0 years; median seizure duration 6.5 years, range 2.0 to 15.5 years) followed for at least 10 years were graded as non-responder - NR (seizure frequency reduction < 50%), responder - R (reduction ≥ 50% and < 80%), and 80% responder - 80R (reduction ≥ 80%). Data about surgical aspects (battery replacement, system complications), seizure dynamics, and medication changes were taken from the database.
Results: The early percentages of good results (80R + R) were 43.8% (year 1), 50.0% (year 2), and 43.8% (year 3).
A Pilot Study on the Functional Stability of Phonation in EEG Bands After Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative condition with constantly increasing prevalence rates, affecting strongly life quality in terms of neuromotor and cognitive performance. PD symptoms include voice and speech alterations, known as hypokinetic dysarthria (HD). Unstable phonation is one of the manifestations of HD. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a rehabilitative treatment thathas been shown to improve some motor and non-motor symptoms of persons with PD (PwP). This study analyzed the phonation functional behavior of 18 participants (13 males, 5 females) with PD diagnosis before (one pre-stimulus) and after (four post-stimulus) evaluation sessions of rTMS treatment, to assess the extent of changes in their phonation stability. Participants were randomized 1:1 to receive either rTMS or sham stimulation.
Effects of Reoperation Timing on Survival among Recurrent Glioblastoma Patients: A Retrospective Multicentric Descriptive Study
Glioblastoma inevitably recurs, but no standard regimen has been established for treating this recurrent disease. Several reports claim that reoperative surgery can improve survival, but the effects of reoperation timing on survival have rarely been investigated. We, therefore, evaluated the relationship between reoperation timing and survival in recurrent GBM. A consecutive cohort of unselected patients (real-world data) from three neuro-oncology cancer centers was analyzed (a total of 109 patients). All patients underwent initial maximal safe resection followed by treatment according to the Stupp protocol. Those meeting the following criteria during progression were indicated for reoperation and were further analyzed in this study: (1) The tumor volume increased by >20-30% or a tumor was rediscovered after radiological disappearance; (2) The patient's clinical status was satisfactory (KS ≥ 70% and PS WHO ≤ gr. 2); (3) The tumor was localized without multifocality; (4) The minimum expected tumor volume reduction was above 80%.
Safety and Efficacy of Baseline Antiplatelet Treatment in Patients Undergoing Mechanical Thrombectomy for Ischemic Stroke
Purpose: Baseline use of antiplatelet medication before mechanical thrombectomy (MT) for acute ischemic stroke (AIS) can provide benefit on reperfusion and clinical outcome, but could also carry an increased risk of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH). This nationwide study investigates the safety and efficacy of baseline antiplatelet treatment in AIS patients undergoing MT.
Materials and methods: All consecutive AIS patients treated with MT with and without intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) between January 2012 and December 2019 in all centers performing MT nationwide were reviewed. Data were prospectively collected in national registries (SITS-TBY, RES-Q). Primary outcome was functional independence (modified Rankin Scale 0-2) at three months, secondary outcome was ICH.
Physics-informed deep learning approach to quantification of human brain metabolites from magnetic resonance spectroscopy data
Purpose: While the recommended analysis method for magnetic resonance spectroscopy data is linear combination model (LCM) fitting, the supervised deep learning (DL) approach for quantification of MR spectroscopy (MRS) and MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) data recently showed encouraging results; however, supervised learning requires ground truth fitted spectra, which is not practical. Moreover, this work investigates the feasibility and efficiency of the LCM-based self-supervised DL method for the analysis of MRS data.
Method: We present a novel DL-based method for the quantification of relative metabolite concentrations, using quantum-mechanics simulated metabolite responses and neural networks. We trained, validated, and evaluated the proposed networks with simulated and publicly accessible in-vivo human brain MRS data and compared the performance with traditional methods.
Assessment of Functional Capacity of Immune System in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis using QuantiFERON Monitor
Background: The QuantiFERON®-Monitor (QFM) is an assay that measures interferon-γ production and was developed to provide an objective marker of complex immune response. In this study, we evaluated the use of the QFM test in patients with two forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), relapsing-remitting form treated with fingolimod (fMS) and secondarily progressive form not treated pharmacologically (pMS), and in healthy controls (HC). We hypothesized that IFN-γ levels would be lower in those subjects who are relatively more immunosuppressed and higher in those with normal or activated immune function.
Methods: This single-center observational study was conducted from November 2020 to October 2021 and compared results in three groups of patients: 86 healthy controls, 96 patients with pMS, and 78 fMS. Combination of lyophilized stimulants was added to 1 ml heparinized whole blood within 8 hr of collection. Plasmatic IFN-γ was measured using the ELISA kit for the QFM and data were obtained in IU/ml.
The effect of deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease reflected in EEG microstates
Mechanisms of deep brain stimulation (DBS) on cortical networks were explored mainly by fMRI. Advanced analysis of high-density EEG is a source of additional information and may provide clinically useful biomarkers. The presented study evaluates EEG microstates in Parkinson's disease and the effect of DBS of the subthalamic nucleus (STN). The association between revealed spatiotemporal dynamics of brain networks and changes in oscillatory activity and clinical examination were assessed. Thirty-seven patients with Parkinson's disease treated by STN-DBS underwent two sessions (OFF and ON stimulation conditions) of resting-state EEG. EEG microstates were analyzed in patient recordings and in a matched healthy control dataset. Microstate parameters were then compared across groups and were correlated with clinical and neuropsychological scores. Of the five revealed microstates, two differed between Parkinson's disease patients and healthy controls.
Specialist Perspectives on the Imaging Selection of Large Vessel Occlusion in the Late Window
Background: The proper imaging modality for use in the selection of patients for endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) presenting in the late window remains controversial, despite current guidelines advocating the use of advanced imaging in this population. We sought to understand if clinicians with different specialty training differ in their approach to patient selection for EVT in the late time window.
Methods: We conducted an international survey of stroke and neurointerventional clinicians between January and May 2022 with questions focusing on imaging and treatment decisions of large vessel occlusion (LVO) patients presenting in the late window. Interventional neurologists, interventional neuroradiologists, and endovascular neurosurgeons were defined as interventionists whereas all other specialties were defined as non-interventionists.