A research paper called “TREND database: Retinal images of healthy young subjects visualized by a portable digital non-mydriatic fundus camera” authored by N. Popovic, S. Vujosevic, M. Radunovic, M. Radunovic, and T Popovic, was published in PLOS ONE journal. The paper represents one of the major contributions of DEMONSTRATE project and it is accompanied with a freely available database called TREND containing fundus images paired with their corresponding blood vessels annotations. The paper is published as open access and it can be read at https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0254918.
Abstract – Topological characterization of the Retinal microvascular nEtwork visualized by portable fuNDus camera (TREND) is a database comprising of 72 color digital retinal images collected from the students of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Montenegro, in the period from February 18th to March 11th 2020. The database also includes binarized images of manually segmented microvascular networks associated with each raw image. The participant demographic characteristics, health status, and social habits information such as age, sex, body mass index, smoking history, alcohol use, as well as previous medical history was collected. As proof of the concept, a smaller set of 10 color digital fundus images from healthy older participants is also included. Comparison of the microvascular parameters of these two sets of images demonstrate that digital fundus images recorded with a hand-held portable camera are able to capture the changes in patterns of microvascular network associated with aging. The raw images from the TREND database provide a standard that defines normal retinal anatomy and microvascular network geometry in young healthy people in Montenegro as it is seen with the digital hand-held portable non-mydriatic MiiS HORUS Scope DEC 200.This knowledge could facilitate the application of this technology at the primary level of health care for large scale telematic screening for complications of chronic diseases, such as hypertensive and diabetic retinopathy. In addition, it could aid in the development of new methods for early detection of age-related changes in the retina, systemic chronic diseases, as well as eye-specific diseases. The associated manually segmented images of the microvascular networks provide the standard that can be used for development of automatic software for image quality assessment, segmentation of microvascular network, and for computer-aided detection of pathological changes in retina. The TREND database is freely available at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4521043.
The TREND public database contains 72 color fundus images of healthy young subjects. Each image is associated with a corresponding binarized image of the manually segmented microvascular network. A set of poor quality images is also included. For comparison of the microvascular geometry, an additional set of 10 digital color fundus images of older healthy subjects is included.
A new book published by MIT Press (Cambridge, Massachusetts), edited by Bernhard Strauss, Marta Bertolaso, Ingemar Ernberg and Mina J. Bissell
Leading scientists argue for a new paradigm for cancer research, proposing a complex systems view of cancer supported by empirical evidence.
Dr. Maša Ždralević, associate of the Center for Scientific Research at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montenegro, is one of the co-authors of of the chapter on therapeutic perspectives of metabolic reprogramming of cancer.
The Alzheimer’s dementia questionnaire will be administered to the students of the University of Montenegro and the University of Donja Gorica though the social media. The goal of this study is to evaluate general knowledge and personal attitudes towards Alzheimer‘s dementia among the student population, to determine if there is a stigma in the society associated with this condition, and how much the personal life experience and educational background influence the opinions of people regarding this problem.
DEMONSTRATE team members held the 2nd meeting of the Executive Board and International Advisory Board, on March 12th 2021. Due to travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was organized in an online format. The logistics necessary for completing the following work packages was discussed:
WP 2.2 – Patient selection and recruitment, collection of clinical documentation and creation of databases
WP 3.1 – Collection of blood samples and isolation of total DNA, RNA and miRNA
WP 4.1 – Creation of the eye fundus photographs base
WP 4.2 – Digitalization of histological sections of CAC patients and formation of database
On March 2nd, 2021, Ivana Konatar, a student at the Faculty of Applied Sciences of the University of Donja Gorica in Podgorica, Montenegro defended her BSc Thesis. The thesis title was: “Implementation of the Image Fractal Analysis by Using Python Programming Language.“
The thesis is a result of the work under the guidance of her mentor, dr Tomo Popovic, that already produced two conference papers, generated programming code and demonstrated its application in the analysis of retinal fundus images collected as a part of the project DEMONSTRATE.
An interesting article posted at MIT Technology Review portal: “If this controversial idea gains acceptance, it could radically change the way we treat getting old.” – Please click on this link to read the full article by David Adam.
DEMONSTRATE team has made significant progress on data and sample collection and is currently working on isolation of circulating micro-RNAs. The next important phase of the study has the objective to use the RT-qPCR approach to determine differences in expression patterns of selected micro-RNA species between the group of participants with colon cancer and normal cognitive function, and the group with cognitive impairment, but no history of cancer.