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In Neuroscience bulletin

Hydrocephalus is often treated with a cerebrospinal fluid shunt (CFS) for excessive amounts of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. However, it is very difficult to distinguish whether the ventricular enlargement is due to hydrocephalus or other causes, such as brain atrophy after brain damage and surgery. The non-trivial evaluation of the consciousness level, along with a continuous drainage test of the lumbar cistern is thus clinically important before the decision for CFS is made. We studied 32 secondary mild hydrocephalus patients with different consciousness levels, who received T1 and diffusion tensor imaging magnetic resonance scans before and after lumbar cerebrospinal fluid drainage. We applied a novel machine-learning method to find the most discriminative features from the multi-modal neuroimages. Then, we built a regression model to regress the JFK Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R) scores to quantify the level of consciousness. The experimental results showed that our method not only approximated the CRS-R scores but also tracked the temporal changes in individual patients. The regression model has high potential for the evaluation of consciousness in clinical practice.

Huo Jiayu, Qi Zengxin, Chen Sen, Wang Qian, Wu Xuehai, Zang Di, Hiromi Tanikawa, Tan Jiaxing, Zhang Lichi, Tang Weijun, Shen Dinggang


Disorder of consciousness, Feature selection, Hydrocephalus, Regression, Structural imaging