4. Connectivity as a biomarker: are we there yet?

Débora Peretti Presenter
University of Geneva
Geneva, Geneva 
Monday, Jun 24: 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM
Room: Grand Ballroom 103 
Brain connectivity is a research topic that has been under study for over 30 years. Several studies have repeatedly shown how connectivity changes from healthy ageing to neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders and have further discussed its clinical applicability. From diagnostic and prognostic information, clustering patients in heterogeneous disease stages to outlying targeting interventions, assessing treatment effect and pre-operative mapping, research studies have shown the added value of understanding the underlying mechanisms behind brain connections. Yet, despite the many applications that have been suggested, from subject selection to assessment of drug clinical trials, biomarkers of connectivity have not found their way into clinical research, with only rare exceptions. This talk will focus on the possible use of biomarkers based on brain connectivity in clinical research, focusing on the challenges for their clinical application, the needed steps to go from research to application and how to optimally implement them. Scaled subprofile modelling using principal component analysis will be used as an example of a marker that has been systematically and successfully validated, and is mostly ready for use in clinical research, and how it compares to other connectivity metrics.