Whole-brain segmentation and change-point analysis of anatomical brain mri—application in premanifest huntington's disease

Dan Wu, Andreia V. Faria, Laurent Younes, Christopher A. Ross, Susumu Mori, Michael I. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent advances in MRI offer a variety of useful markers to identify neurodegenerative diseases. In Huntington's disease (HD), regional brain atrophy begins many years prior to the motor onset (during the "premanifest" period), but the spatiotemporal pattern of regional atrophy across the brain has not been fully characterized. Here we demonstrate an online cloud-computing platform, "MRICloud", which provides atlas-based whole-brain segmentation of T1-weighted images at multiple granularity levels, and thereby, enables us to access the regional features of brain anatomy. We then describe a regression model that detects statistically significant inflection points, at which regional brain atrophy starts to be noticeable, i.e. the "change-point", with respect to a disease progression index. We used the CAG-age product (CAP) score to index the disease progression in HD patients. Change-point analysis of the volumetric measurements from the segmentation pipeline, therefore, provides important information of the order and pattern of structural atrophy across the brain. The paper illustrates the use of these techniques on T1-weighted MRI data of premanifest HD subjects from a large multicenter PREDICT-HD study. This design potentially has wide applications in a range of neurodegenerative diseases to investigate the dynamic changes of brain anatomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere57256
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number136
StatePublished - Jun 9 2018


  • Change-point
  • Granularity
  • Issue 136
  • MRI atlas
  • MRICloud
  • Medicine
  • Premanifest HD
  • Segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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