Development of a Voxel-Wise Database of Physical Parameters for Neuroimaging

Developing a high-resolution database of physical parameters in the human brain

Full Project Name:Development of a Voxel-Wise Database of Physical Parameters for NeuroimagingPrincipal Investigator:Andrew S. Nencka, PhD, BiophysicsCo-Investigator:Shi-Jiang Li, PhD, BiophysicsAward Amount:300,000
Award Date
May2011
Project Duration:48 months

Project Description Narrative:


Brain diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease affect millions of people across the United States, including in Wisconsin. In 2010 alone it is estimated that 110,000 individuals in Wisconsin were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The annual costs associated with treating these diseases are estimated to be in the billions of dollars.

To study the progression and treatment of these diseases, multi-contrast imaging has been extensively employed. However, to obtain data using these techniques, several time-consuming image acquisitions must be made. The acquisition of multiple contrast data sets is usually performed sequentially over tens of minutes. Therefore, the results are susceptible to patient movement between imaging runs. Further, some patient populations simply cannot tolerate such extended imaging sessions. Additionally, limitations in the image acquisition technologies used can yield imperfections that result in the alignment of images to fail.

Through this award, investigators will develop a high-resolution database of physical parameters in the human brain that, when coupled with a segmented atlas of the brain, can be used to improve the early detection, classification, and monitoring of treatment of brain diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:


• Developed technology to enable the faster acquisition of quantitative MRI neuroimaging data, which became the cornerstone imaging technology of several NIH grant awards and submissions around concussion and mild traumatic brain injury, aging and Alzheimer's disease, and epilepsy. The findings from these new studies have the potential to impact the way that neurological diseases are diagnosed and monitored in the future

• Established the voxel-wise database of physical parameters. However, discovered that the fast imaging technology, rather than the voxel-wise database of physical parameters itself, has proven to be more valuable to the greater neuroscience community

• Developed strong local and national collaborations that have advanced understanding of brain health

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