Automated analysis of anatomical changes occurring in brain with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Trauma occurs in many forms at various instances of our daily life and some subtle ones go unnoticed until sever symptoms are observed. The affects on life vary from impairments to severe incapacitation. Current diagnosis methods are based on questionairs and subjective assessment with inherent variability associated to the doctors. In this internship we will be developing an automated diagnosis framework based on MRI imaging. The frist task will lead to automated image analysis pipeline providing accurate delineation of structures in the brain and provide their pertinent measurements.

The effect of head injury on cardiovascular and postural controls

Approximately 1.7 million people sustain a head injury each year in the United States alone, and the associated costs exceed $60 billion annually. One of the most common symptoms of a head injury is decreased postural control that may be associated with changes in heart rate and blood pressure which may lead to syncope (fainting), pre-syncope, or falls and re-injury. In order to minimize the risk of re-injury and facilitate healing, further study is required to understand how the cardiovascular and postural control systems interact and how this relationship is affected after a head injury.

The interaction between cardiovascular and posture controls and the effects of aging

Falls are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the elderly, and are the sixth leading cause of death. Often these falls result from a loss of balance due to decreased postural control; however, age related reductions in cardiovascular control during postural changes may produce light headedness and fainting (syncope) leading to fall proneness. In order to assess fall proneness, further study is required to increase our knowledge and better characterize how the cardiovascular and the postural control systems interact. We shall conduct two studies to accomplish the task above.