Researcher Ruben Perellón defends his thesis, which identifies biomarkers of brain health using non-invasive methods

Researcher at the University of Barcelona and the Guttmann Institute Ruben Perellón defended his doctoral thesis on 22 March, developed thanks to data collected by the Barcelona Brain Health Initiative (BBHI). The work, entitled Spontaneous and perturbation-based electroencephalographic markers in the study of brain health, has been supervised by David Bartrés-Faz, Principal Investigator of the BBHI and Professor of Medical Psychology at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Barcelona, and Kilian Abellaneda Pérez, researcher at the Institut Guttmann.

In his thesis, Perellón has identified possible biomarkers of brain health that could be neurophysiologically relevant in the context of resilience in stress, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease, using non-invasive and scalable methods such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography.

To this end, the work is divided into three studies that explore different aspects of brain health and its possible alterations. The first study has revealed differences in brain activity in response to magnetic stimulation between people who experienced a negative effect on their mental health during the pandemic and those individuals who remained stable.

The second study focused on implementing an interpretable machine learning algorithm that can differentiate schizophrenia patients from healthy people based solely on electroencephalography data, and identified inhibitory differences in brain activity in people with schizophrenia.

Finally, the third study established, using non-invasive methods, a relationship between cortical excitability and proteins involved in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease.