Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical Engineering



Research Advisor

John J. Bissler, MD


Amy D. Curry, PhD Eugene C. Eckstein, PhD


2D CNN, 3D CNN, Brain disease, deep learning, Infant, MRI


Purpose and Rationale. Central nervous system manifestations form a significant burden of disease in young children. There have been efforts to correlate the neurological disease state in tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) neurological disease state with imaging findings is a standard part of patient care. However, such analysis of neuroimaging is time- and labor-intensive. Automated approaches to these tasks are needed to improve speed, accuracy, and availability. Automated medical image analysis tools based on 3D/2D deep learning algorithms can help improve the quality and consistency of image diagnosis and interpretation for cognitive disorders in infants. We propose to automate neuroimaging analysis with artificial intelligence algorithms. This novel approach can be used to improve the accuracy of TSC diagnosis and treatment. Deep learning (DL) is among the most successful types of machine learning and utilizes deep artificial neural networks (ANNs), which can determine efficient feature representations of input data. DL algorithms have created new opportunities in medical image analysis. Applications of DL, specifically convolutional neural networks (CNNs), in medical image analysis, cover a broad spectrum of tasks, including risk prediction/estimation with a machine learning system trained on these classification tasks.

Study population. We reviewed an NIMH Data Archive (NDA) dataset that was collected in 2010. We also reviewed imaging data from patients and normal cases from birth to 8 years of age acquired at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital from 2014 to 2020. The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved this study.

Research Design and Study Procedures. Following Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, this thesis: 1) Presents the first 2D/3D fusion CNN models to estimate the age of infants from birth to 3 years of age. 2) Presents the first work to look at whole-brain network to automatically distinguish TSC brain structural pathology from normal cases using a 3DCNN model.

Conclusions. The study findings indicate that deep neural networks tackle the problem of early prediction of cognitive and neurodevelopmental disorders and structural brain pathology based on MRI automatically in TSC children. It is the hope of the author that analysis of MRI images via methods of deep learning will have a positive impact on healthcare for infants and children at risk of rare diseases.

Declaration of Authorship

Declaration of Authorship is included in the supplemental files.




2021-028-Shabanian-DOA.pdf (124 kB)
Declaration of Authorship

Available for download on Wednesday, December 20, 2023