Alumni of Trinity College
CDT Postgraduate Studentship in Healthcare Innovation
Investigating the role of APOE-?4, a risk gene for Alzheimer’s disease, on functional brain networks using magnetoencephalography.
Healthy brain function is underpinned by the interactions between different brain regions called resting state networks (RSNs). These networks are of great interest as abnormal network activity is thought to contribute to numerous psychiatric diseases (e.g. Schizophrenia). Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a powerful neuro-imaging tool that can be used to explore the differences between healthy and diseased brain activity. MEG measures the magnetic fields generated by neuronal activity with an array of sensors at the scalp and can give unrivalled non-invasive spatio-temporal resolution.
My research is focussed on developing an analysis pipeline to image RSNs in MEG data, understand normal network behaviour and develop tools to elucidate the differences between healthy and diseased populations. To do this, I have combined techniques including beamforming, independent component analysis and group statistics together into a single analysis framework. In addition, I am co-developing the OHBA Software Library, an open source toolbox which will enable other MEG researchers to apply my techniques to a range of neuro-imaging problems.
My ultimate aim is to investigate the role of APOE-?4 on brain networks. APOE-?4 is a major contributor to an individual’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease yet the mechanism by which this happens is poorly understood.