Thesis proposal #1 - The neurophysiological signature of recovery after stroke

Introduction and state of the problem. Stroke is the second cause of severe disability in Europe. Despite rehabilitation, recovery after stroke is still indisputably poor. Brain oscillatory activity reorganizes after stroke: EEG (electroencephalography) patterns dynamically change from the early hours after stroke and may be neurophysiological signatures of long-term recovery. Manipulating brain activity by innovative non-invasive brain stimulation paradigms will boost EEG rhythms that determine recovery.
Aim of the thesis. To find the neurophysiological signature of recovery after stroke towards the individuation of a therapeutic target. In particular, to identify a dynamic biomarker of stroke recovery. We need to single out the correlation between scalp non-invasive EEG activity, stroke lesion, and long-term functional motor to obtain the neurophysiological signature of recovery after stroke.
Work plan. It is required to analyze the EEG signals in the linear (i.e., frequency analysis) and nonlinear domain (i.e., to quantify the fractal features of the same signal)
Fundamental requirements. Ability to program in Matlab/Phyton/R. Attitude in processing / analyzing data and biological signals. Interaction capacity.
Workload. The estimated time to complete the project is in line with the 21 CFU theses (4-5 months).
Work mode. The daily presence in the department is not required. The data analysis activity can be carried out independently. Interactions with the referent Professor and researchers involved in the project will be continuous and typically, every 10-15 days, meetings will be held to discuss progress of the work, intermediate results and subsequent steps.

Thesis proposal #2 - EEG-TMS coregistration in disorders of consciousness

Introduction and state of the problem. Disorders of Consciousness (DoCs) are a major issue in Neurorehabilitation. Early markers of functional recovery would allow a more efficient personalization of the rehabilitative program and allocation of resources. Among emerging biomarkers, cortical reactivity may be promising.
Aim of the thesis. Define if early (1st week after event) cortical reactivity, in terms of TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) Evoked Potentials (TEPs), may be an indicator of 3 months functional recovery in subjects with DoCs.
Work plan. The student will be required to train with different techinques and acquire basic knowledge of neurorehab evaluations in ICU during the first 1to 2 months and to participate to co-registration in the following months (minimum 6 months).
Fundamental requirements. Principles of neurology; basic neurorehabilitation; flexibility.
Workload. Daily morning presence would be appreaciated (9.00-13.00).
Work mode. The student will acquire skills in EEG registration, TMS stimulation, and EEG-TMS co-registration. Data will be recorded in Intensive Care Unit at the University Hospital, Padova, under supervision.

Ongoing theses

Concluded theses

Marianna Zampini, MD Title: Surface Electromyography (sEMG) and Electroencephalography (EEG) Recording during Walking and Upright Stance in the Elderly: A Scoping Review.

Maria Zebele, MD Title: Mirroring of structural lesion in EEG power topography in post-stroke survivors.

Stefano Zambelli, BSc Title: Correlation matrix of plantar pressure maps in people with Dravet Syndrome and possible development of Machine Learning tools.

Elisa Callegari, MSc Title: Kinematic and kinetic analysis of walking in people with Dravet syndrome.

Edoardo De Gasperi, MSc Title: EEG analysis of evoked and induced activity by Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease subjects.

Jessica Rupil, MSc Title: MVAR estimation of source-level EEG connectivity in Parkinson’s disease.

Arianna Moro, BSc Title: Studio dell'eccitabilità corticale nel dolore cronico: analisi del segnale EEG durante stimolazione magnetica transcranica.