EESS talk - Student presentation on "Imprints of the urban environmental exposome on georeferenced brain images, affective functions, and cognition"


Event details

Date 05.03.2024
Hour 12:1512:45
Speaker Marco Vieira Ruas, LGB
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English
In the context of increasing lifespans, prevalent age-related brain disorders, and widespread urbanisa9on, understanding the relationship between the urban environmental exposomeand brain health is imperative. Beyond the beneficial effects of city living on infant survivaland upbringing, emerging evidence suggests its potential adverse effects on the brain. Given the significant burden of cognitive decline, associated depression, and other aging-related
brain disorders on global disability, investigating the influence of modifiable life factors on brain health becomes crucial. In our study, we analysed data stemming from the longitudinal CoLaus|PsyCoLaus cohort. We examined anxiety using the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and well-being with the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF). We tested individuals’ global cognitive performance with the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). From the nested BrainLaus project, we acquired brain data via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including regional brain volumes (ROI) and White MaTer (WM) tracts, assessed in relation to myelin content, axonal density, free water, and volume.We evaluated the urban environmental exposome around the participants’ home addresses using georeferenced data considering factors like vegetation (ARVI, NDVI), air pollution (NO2,PM10), night-time traffic noise, daylight radiation intensity and duration, public transport accessibility and Land Surface Temperature (LST). Our results indicate a spatial dependency for mood disorders and cognition in the city of Lausanne. Further, we observed significant associations between exposome variables, particularly vegetation, air pollution and LST, and mood disorders. Addi9onally, we identified spatial associations between ROI and mood/cognition. Employing a spatial interaction model, we determined specific thresholds of the environmental exposome, affecting the association between ROI and mood/cognition. Finally, we found a significant positive correlation between the free water content in specific brain WM tracts and LST. Our research underscores the impact of urban living on brain health and highlights the challenges posed by climate warming, offering valuable insights for futureurban planning and public health strategies.

Short Biography:
I was born in Aigle on 9th May 1992. I grew up in Bulle, where I accomplished all my mandatoryeducation and high school. Before starting EPFL, I served as a bartender and a tour guide at Maison Caillers in Broc for a few months, to fund an overseas trip to New-Zealand. There, I attended English language classes, obtained my CAE Advanced Cer9ficate, and enjoyed a memorable road trip. I studied environmental engineering at EPFL, where I obtained my
Masters in 2020. Subsequently, I worked for just shy of two years as a research assistant at the now-closed LASIG lab. I started my PhD in March 2022 under the supervision of Dr. Stéphane Joost and Pr. Bogdan Draganski, focusing on leveraging spatial analysis technics to unravel the potential impact of geographical space and the urban exposome on mood, cognition, and brain health. In my spare time, I enjoy climbing, hiking, skiing, as well as delving into

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free
  • This event is internal


  • EESS - IIE


  • Prof. Alcherio Martinoli, LGB


Mood cogni9on brain GIS spatial analysis