To develop MR pulse sequences whereby perfusion, water diffusion, and metabolite concentrations can be quantified in human brain. Technical aims are to establish standard quality-assurance and clinical protocols and to evaluate the latter in multi-centre trials in normal controls and selected diseases. Clinical objectives are to apply these new techniques to normal developing and ageing human brain, Alzheimer's and multi-infarct dementias, and hypoxic and ischaemic disorders resulting in pathophysiological indices of importance for diagnosis and treatment monitoring.
A better understanding of physiology and metabolism in normal, ageing and diseased brain may improve diagnosis and evaluation of new therapies in brain diseases which impose a large economic burden on health care systems and on society as a whole. The overall purpose of this project is to apply, in a collaborative multi-national programme, recent technical developments in magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of perfusion, diffusion and metabolism in the human brain to characterise: normal development and ageing processes, degenerative disorders and ischaemic and hypoxic disorders of the brain, in order to identify pathophysiological factors of importance for diagnosis and monitoring of treatment efficacy.
The research programme involving ten competent European MR-centres, focuses on the development of a standard MR examination protocol for quantitative imaging of perfusion, diffusion and metabolism in the same investigation within a reasonable total examination time. Secondly, by means of this standard protocol in which the different MR-techniques are integrated, international multi-centre studies are launched in order to collect physiological, biochemical and clinical data characterising normal development, ageing processes and ischaemic, hypoxic brain diseases.
The expected benefits of the proposed research programme are: to provide methods of non-invasive quantitative imaging of perfusion, diffusion and metabolism; to improve the understanding of biochemical and physiological behaviour of major brain diseases leading to improvements in prevention and therapy; to move from pre-clinical to clinical practice by incorporating multi-parameter MR-techniques; to facilitate the clinical evaluation and validation required by manufacturers in establishing new techniques; to provide common European standards for performance assessment and biomedical measurements; to utilise new MR-techniques to provide non-invasive measurements reducing the time scale, cost, complexity of developing and assessing new therapies including neuroprotective drugs.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
2628 CJ Delft
WC1E 6JA London
SE1 9RT London