JBiSE  Vol.6 No.3 A , March 2013
Automated measurement of three-dimensional cerebral cortical thickness in Alzheimer’s patients using localized gradient vector trajectory in fuzzy membership maps
ABSTRACT

Our purpose in this study was to develop an automated method for measuring three-dimensional (3D) cerebral cortical thicknesses in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) using magnetic resonance (MR) images. Our proposed method consists of mainly three steps. First, a brain parenchymal region was segmented based on brain model matching. Second, a 3D fuzzy membership map for a cerebral cortical region was created by applying a fuzzy c-means (FCM) clustering algorithm to T1-weighted MR images. Third, cerebral cortical thickness was three- dimensionally measured on each cortical surface voxel by using a localized gradient vector trajectory in a fuzzy membership map. Spherical models with 3 mm artificial cortical regions, which were produced using three noise levels of 2%, 5%, and 10%, were employed to evaluate the proposed method. We also applied the proposed method to T1-weighted images obtained from 20 cases, i.e., 10 clinically diagnosed AD cases and 10 clinically normal (CN) subjects. The thicknesses of the 3 mm artificial cortical regions for spherical models with noise levels of 2%, 5%, and 10% were measured by the proposed method as 2.953 ± 0.342, 2.953 ± 0.342 and 2.952 ± 0.343 mm, respectively. Thus the mean thicknesses for the entire cerebral lobar region were 3.1 ± 0.4 mm for AD patients and 3.3 ± 0.4 mm for CN subjects, respectively (p < 0.05). The proposed method could be feasible for measuring the 3D cerebral cortical thickness on individual cortical surface voxels as an atrophy feature in AD.


Cite this paper
Tokunaga, C. , Arimura, H. , Yoshiura, T. , Ohara, T. , Yamashita, Y. , Kobayashi, K. , Magome, T. , Nakamura, Y. , Honda, H. , Hirata, H. , Ohki, M. and Toyofuku, F. (2013) Automated measurement of three-dimensional cerebral cortical thickness in Alzheimer’s patients using localized gradient vector trajectory in fuzzy membership maps. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 6, 327-336. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2013.63A042.
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