Seminars, events & talks

Friday, 23th July, 2021, 13:00

Identifying longitudinal psychiatric signatures in HD using dynamic time warping

While Huntington's disease (HD) is diagnosed by the onset of motor symptoms, psychiatric disturbances bear a greater burden on daily functioning. Such psychiatric features can present up to fifteen years prior to formal disease diagnosis, although there is great inter-individual heterogeneity in symptom expression and evolution. As such, the present study strives to discern longitudinal psychiatric signatures that inform patterns of HD progression. Forty-seven HD gene-expansion carriers (23 premanifest, 24 manifest) underwent evaluation for depression, irritability, apathy, and executive dysfunction using the short-Problem Behavior Assessment (PBA-s) for a maximum total of six longitudinal visits. Unsupervised clustering of weighted PBA-s scores was performed with an adapted Disease Trajectories analysis software based on dynamic time warping (DTW), a technique that allows the non-linear alignment of sequences that may vary in overall lengths or speed, but can conceal the same temporal characteristics. This proof-of-concept allowed the identification of clusters with shared patterns of psychiatric evolution. Next, selected clusters were assessed for group differences in diagnostic status and severity of psychiatric features. This seminar will serve as a rehearsal of my Master's defense, which I completed under the supervision of Dr. Alexia Giannoula and Dr. Laura Furlong. In this way, I hope to stimulate a discussion regarding the analytical pipeline and its applicability and interpretability in the clinical field.

Any and all feedback is welcome!


Speaker: Audrey De Paepe, Master of Multidisciplinary Research (BIST), Cognition & Brain Plasticity Unit (UB) - Research Programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB, IMIM/UPF)

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