Monitoring Infants by Automatic Video Processing

This work has, as its objective, the development of non-invasive and low-cost systems for monitoring and automatic diagnosing specific neonatal diseases by means of the analysis of suitable video signals. We focus on monitoring infants potentially at risk of diseases characterized by the presence or absence of rhythmic movements of one or more body parts. Seizures and respiratory diseases are specifically considered, but the approach is general. Seizures are defined as sudden neurological and behavioural alterations. They are age-dependent phenomena and the most common sign of central nervous system dysfunction. Neonatal seizures have onset within the 28th day of life in newborns at term and within the 44th week of conceptional age in preterm infants. Their main causes are hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy, intracranial haemorrhage, and sepsis. Studies indicate an incidence rate of neonatal seizures of 2‰ live births, 11‰ for preterm ...

Cattani Luca — University of Parma (Italy)


Learning from structured EEG and fMRI data supporting the diagnosis of epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that manifests in epileptic seizures as a result of an abnormal, synchronous activity of a large group of neurons. Depending on the affected brain regions, seizures produce various severe clinical symptoms. Epilepsy cannot be cured and in many cases is not controlled by medication either. Surgical resection of the region responsible for generating the epileptic seizures might offer remedy for these patients. Electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measure the changes of brain activity in time over different locations of the brain. As such, they provide valuable information on the nature, the timing and the spatial origin of the epileptic activity. Unfortunately, both techniques record activity of different brain and artefact sources as well. Hence, EEG and fMRI signals are characterised by low signal to noise ratio. Data quality and the vast amount ...

Hunyadi, Borbála — KU Leuven


Functional Neuroimaging Data Characterisation Via Tensor Representations

The growing interest in neuroimaging technologies generates a massive amount of biomedical data that exhibit high dimensionality. Tensor-based analysis of brain imaging data has by now been recognized as an effective approach exploiting its inherent multi-way nature. In particular, the advantages of tensorial over matrix-based methods have previously been demonstrated in the context of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) source localization; the identification of the regions of the brain which are activated at specific time instances. However, such methods can also become ineffective in realistic challenging scenarios, involving, e.g., strong noise and/or significant overlap among the activated regions. Moreover, they commonly rely on the assumption of an underlying multilinear model generating the data. In the first part of this thesis, we aimed at investigating the possible gains from exploiting the 3-dimensional nature of the brain images, through a higher-order tensorization ...

Christos Chatzichristos — National and Kapodistrian University of Athens


Heart rate variability : linear and nonlinear analysis with applications in human physiology

Cardiovascular diseases are a growing problem in today’s society. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that these diseases make up about 30% of total global deaths and that heart diseases have no geographic, gender or socioeconomic boundaries. Therefore, detecting cardiac irregularities early-stage and a correct treatment are very important. However, this requires a good physiological understanding of the cardiovascular system. The heart is stimulated electrically by the brain via the autonomic nervous system, where sympathetic and vagal pathways are always interacting and modulating heart rate. Continuous monitoring of the heart activity is obtained by means of an ElectroCardioGram (ECG). Studying the fluctuations of heart beat intervals over time reveals a lot of information and is called heart rate variability (HRV) analysis. A reduction of HRV has been reported in several cardiological and noncardiological diseases. Moreover, HRV also has a prognostic ...

Vandeput, Steven — KU Leuven


Unsupervised Models for White Matter Fiber-Bundles Analysis in Multiple Sclerosis

Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (dMRI) is a meaningful technique for white matter (WM) fiber-tracking and microstructural characterization of axonal/neuronal integrity and connectivity. By measuring water molecules motion in the three directions of space, numerous parametric maps can be reconstructed. Among these, fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), and axial (λa) and radial (λr) diffusivities have extensively been used to investigate brain diseases. Overall, these findings demonstrated that WM and grey matter (GM) tissues are subjected to numerous microstructural alterations in multiple sclerosis (MS). However, it remains unclear whether these tissue alterations result from global processes, such as inflammatory cascades and/or neurodegenerative mechanisms, or local inflammatory and/or demyelinating lesions. Furthermore, these pathological events may occur along afferent or afferent WM fiber pathways, leading to antero- or retrograde degeneration. Thus, for a better understanding of MS pathological processes like its spatial and ...

Stamile, Claudio — Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, KU Leuven


Automated quantification of preterm brain maturation using electroencephalography

Around 10 percent of all human births is premature, which means that annually about 15 million babies are born before 37 completed weeks of gestation. About one third of the admissions to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) consists of this patient group. Due to complications, 1 million babies die from premature delivery, and it is therefore the most important cause of neonatal death. In general, premature and immature babies have a high risk for neurological abnormalities by maturation in extra-uterine life. Even though improved health care has increased the survival changes of these neonates, they are sensitive to brain damage and consequently, neurocognitive disabilities. Nowadays, critical information about the brain development can be extracted from the electroencephalography (EEG). Clinical experts visually assess evolving EEG characteristics over both short and long periods to evaluate maturation of patients at risk and, ...

Koolen, Ninah — KU Leuven


Signal processing for monitoring cerebral hemodynamics in neonates

Disturbances in cerebral hemodynamics are one of the principal causes of cerebral damage in premature infants. Specifically, changes in cerebral blood flow might cause ischemia or hemorrhage that can lead to motor and developmental disabilities. Under normal circumstances, there are several mechanisms that act jointly to preserve cerebral hemodynamics homeostasis. However, in case that one of these mechanisms is disrupted the brain is exposed to damage. Premature infants are susceptible to variations in cerebral circulation due to their fragility. Therefore, monitoring cerebral hemodynamics is of vital importance in order to prevent brain damage in this population and avoid subsequent sequelae. This thesis is oriented to the development of signal processing techniques that can be of help in monitoring cerebral hemodynamics in neonates. There are several problems that hinder the use in clinical practice of monitoring cerebral hemodynamics. On one hand, ...

Caicedo Dorado, Alexander — KU Leuven


Localisation of Brain Functions: Stimuling Brain Activity and Source Reconstruction for Classification

A key issue in understanding how the brain functions is the ability to correlate functional information with anatomical localisation. Functional information can be provided by a variety of techniques like positron emission tomography (PET), functional MRI (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). All these methods provide different, but complementary, information about the functional areas of the brain. PET and fMRI provide spatially accurate picture of brain regions involved in a given task. TMS permits to infer the contribution of the stimulated brain area to the task under investigation. EEG and MEG, which reflects brain activity directly, have temporal accuracy of the order of a millisecond. TMS, EEG and MEG are offset by their low spatial resolution. In this thesis, we propose two methods to improve the spatial accuracy of method based on TMS and EEG. The ...

Noirhomme, Quentin — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Spike train discrimination and analysis in neural and surface electromyography (sEMG) applications

The term "spike" is used to describe a short-time event that is the result of the activity of its source. Spikes can be seen in different signal modalities. In these modalities, often more than one source generates spikes. Classification algorithms can be used to group similar spikes, ideally spikes from the same source. This work examines the classification of spikes generated from neurons and muscles. When each detected spike is assigned to its source, the spike trains of these sources can provide information on complex brain network functioning, muscle disorders, and other applications. During the past several decades, there were many attempts to create and improve spike classification algorithms. No matter how advanced these methods are today, errors in classification cannot be avoided. Therefore, methods that would determine and improve reliability of classification are very desirable. In this work, it ...

Gligorijevic, Ivan — KU Leuven


Development of an automated neonatal EEG seizure monitor

Brain function requires a continuous flow of oxygen and glucose. An insufficient supply for a few minutes during the first period of life may have severe consequences or even result in death. This happens in one to six infants per 1000 live term births. Therefore, there is a high need for a method which can enable bedside brain monitoring to identify those neonates at risk and be able to start the treatment in time. The most important currently available technology to continuously monitor brain function is electroEncephaloGraphy (or EEG). Unfortunately, visual EEG analysis requires particular skills which are not always present round the clock in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Even if those skills are available it is laborsome to manually analyse many hours of EEG. The lack of time and skill are the main reasons why EEG is ...

Deburchgraeve, Wouter — KU Leuven


Automated detection of epileptic seizures in pediatric patients based on accelerometry and surface electromyography

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases that manifests in repetitive epileptic seizures as a result of an abnormal, synchronous activity of a large group of neurons. Depending on the affected brain regions, seizures produce various severe clinical symptoms. There is no cure for epilepsy and sometimes even medication and other therapies, like surgery, vagus nerve stimulation or ketogenic diet, do not control the number of seizures. In that case, long-term (home) monitoring and automatic seizure detection would enable the tracking of the evolution of the disease and improve objective insight in any responses to medical interventions or changes in medical treatment. Especially during the night, supervision is reduced; hence a large number of seizures is missed. In addition, an alarm should be integrated into the automated seizure detection algorithm for severe seizures in order to help the ...

Milošević, Milica — KU Leuven


Unsupervised and semi-supervised Non-negative Matrix Factorization methods for brain tumor segmentation using multi-parametric MRI data

Gliomas represent about 80% of all malignant primary brain tumors. Despite recent advancements in glioma research, patient outcome remains poor. The 5 year survival rate of the most common and most malignant subtype, i.e. glioblastoma, is about 5%. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become the imaging modality of choice in the management of brain tumor patients. Conventional MRI (cMRI) provides excellent soft tissue contrast without exposing the patient to potentially harmful ionizing radiation. Over the past decade, advanced MRI modalities, such as perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI), diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) have gained interest in the clinical field, and their added value regarding brain tumor diagnosis, treatment planning and follow-up has been recognized. Tumor segmentation involves the imaging-based delineation of a tumor and its subcompartments. In gliomas, segmentation plays an important role in treatment planning as well ...

Sauwen, Nicolas — KU Leuven


Classification of brain tumors based on magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Nowadays, diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors is based on clinical symptoms, radiological appearance, and often histopathology. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a major noninvasive tool for the anatomical assessment of tumors in the brain. However, several diagnostic questions, such as the type and grade of the tumor, are difficult to address using MRI. The histopathology of a tissue specimen remains the gold standard, despite the associated risks of surgery to obtain a biopsy. In recent years, the use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), which provides a metabolic profile, has gained a lot of interest for a more detailed and specific noninvasive evaluation of brain tumors. In particular, magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) is attractive as this may also enable to visualize the heterogeneous spatial extent of tumors, both inside and outside the MRI detectable lesion. As manual, individual, viewing ...

Luts, Jan — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Improving data-driven EEG-FMRI analyses for the study of cognitive functioning

Understanding the cognitive processes that are going on in the human brain, requires the combination of several types of observations. For this reason, since several years, neuroscience research started to focus on multimodal approaches. One such multimodal approach is the combination of electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The non-invasive character of these two modalities makes their combination not only harmless and painless, but also especially suited for widespread research in both clinical and experimental applications. Moreover, the complementarity between the high temporal resolution of the EEG and the high spatial resolution of the fMRI, allows obtaining a more complete picture of the processes under study. However, the combination of EEG and fMRI is challenging, not only on the level of the data acquisition, but also when it comes to extracting the activity of interest and interpreting the ...

Vanderperren, Katrien — KU Leuven


Stochastic Schemes for Dynamic Network Resource Allocation

Wireless networks and power distribution grids are experiencing increasing demands on their efficiency and reliability. Judicious methods for allocating scarce resources such as power and bandwidth are of paramount importance. As a result, nonlinear optimization and signal processing tools have been incorporated into the design of contemporary networks. This thesis develops schemes for efficient resource allocation (RA) in such dynamic networks, with an emphasis in stochasticity, which is accounted for in the problem formulation as well as in the algorithms and schemes to solve those problems. Stochastic optimization and decomposition techniques are investigated to develop low-complexity algorithms with specific applications in cross-layer design of wireless communications, cognitive radio (CR) networks and smart power distribution systems. The costs and constraints on the availability of network resources, together with diverse quality of service (QoS) requirements, render network design, management, and operation challenging ...

Lopez Ramos, Luis Miguel — King Juan Carlos University

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