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Novel MRI neuroimaging techniques enhance Alzheimer’s characterization

Jackey Suen
09 Dec 2015

Recent advances in MRI techniques allow faster and more accurate neuroimaging, which greatly facilitates the characterization of brain structure and function associated with normal ageing and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

“Better characterization of AD is needed as nearly all [99.6 percent] clinical trials of AD therapies showed negative results,” said Professor Lawrence Frank of the University of California, San Diego, CA, USRecent advances in MRI techniques allow faster and more accurate neuroimaging, which greatly facilitates the characterization of brain structure and function associated with normal ageing and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). “Better characterization of AD is needed as nearly all [99.6 percent] clinical trials of AD therapies showed negative results,” said Professor Lawrence Frank of the University of California, San Diego, CA, US, at the International Symposium on Cognitive and Developmental Neuroscience: From Molecular to Behaviour organized by the Brain and Mind Institute, Chinese University of Hong Kong. [Alzheimers Res Ther 2014;6:37]

Frank and his team recently developed two novel MRI approaches to enhance the imaging of brain morphology, neural connectivity and functional connectivity, which can potentially improve the characterization of changes in brain structure and function in patients with AD.

“The current method used in brain shape imaging involves data collection, surface definition, segmentation of data, surface fitting and inflation to fit coefficient. The whole process is laborious, time-consuming and error-prone,” noted Frank. “Our novel method analyzes the entire data volume automatically, obviating the steps of segmentation, inflation and surface fitting. It significantly reduces computational time and errors while providing a more detailed quantitative description of the brain.” [Neuroimage 2014;92:156-168]

“We also introduced a new computational technique which allows more accurate and complete estimations for characterization of neural connections in the brain using magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging, as well as mapping of functional connectivity using functional MRI,” he added. [IEEE Trans Med Imaging 2015;34:1177-1193]

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3 days ago
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