Course Title: Session F: Disconnection in the Connectome Era


Credit Hours: 1.0


Instructor(s) Marco Catani, MD


Disconnection in the Connectome Era

Abstract & Learning Objectives

In a brain composed of specialized but connected areas, disconnection leads to dysfunction. This simple formulation not only underlay a range of classical neurological manifestations, referred to collectively as disconnection syndromes, but it has also recently been adopted to explain almost the entire spectrum of higher cognitive disorders in neurology and psychiatry. This paper will first trace the development of certain anatomical and physiological concepts at the origins of modern definitions of disconnection. Second, current developments of brain imaging methods will be discussed focusing on their application to the healthy and pathological brain. In particular modern tractography approaches based on diffusion imaging will be examined in detail with examples taken from disorders of language, visuospatial attention and praxis.

Marco Catani, MD

Marco Catani, MD

Clinical Senior Lecturer & Hon Consultant Psychiatrist
NATBRAINLAB
Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences
Institute of Psychiatry PO50
King's College London

The learning objectives of this talk are: 1) understand contemporary disconnectionist frameworks that include hypo- and hyperfunctional mechanisms; 2) be able to identify the unique advantages of contemporary approaches to disconnection using quantitative methods that define measures of connectivity where structure, function and behaviour are integrated and correlated; 3) understand that many contemporary maps are inaccurate surrogates of the true anatomy and a comprehensive connectome of the human brain remains a far distant point in the history to come.

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Speaker Biography

Marco Catani graduated with honors in Medicine (1997) at the University of Perugia, Italy, where he specialized in Geriatics (2001). He then trained in Psychiatry (2009) at the Maudsley Hospital and obtained his PhD at Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London (2012). He is currently honorary consultant psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital and clinical senior lecturer at King’s College London. He is the head of the NatBrainLab and chair of the International School of Clinical Neuroanatomy. He is member of the editorial board of Cortex, Human Brain Mapping, and Brain & Language. He received the Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioral Neurology awarded by the American Academy of Neurology (2012) and the New Investigator Award by the Wellcome Trust (2014). He pioneered the use of diffusion tractography to identify new fiber pathways in the human brain. He has written more than 70 scientific papers and published two atlases of white matter pathways with Michel Thiebaut de Schotten (Atlas of Human Brain connections, Oxford University Press 2012) and Flavio Dell’Acqua (Human Brain Pathways, An atlas od long and short range brain connections, Elsevier 2015). He has recently published “Brain Renaissance: from Vesalius to Modern Neuroscience’, a commented translation of the seventh book of De Humanis Corporis Fabrica published by Andreas Vesalius in 1543.