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Neuroimaging

Post time: 2014-05-29 15:33:31      Page views:

Neuroimaging includes the use of various techniques to either directly or indirectly image the structure, function of the brain. It falls in to two categories: Structural imaging, which deals with the structure of the brain and the diagnosis of gross intracranial disease, and functional imaging, which is used to diagnose metabolic diseases and lesions on a finer scale and also for neurological and cognitive psychology research and building brain-computer interfaces. We explore both of these categories and provide services to institutes and hospitals.
  • Structural MRI
Structural MRI is still the main method to analyze brain structure. Our research focuses on high resolution high contrast imaging with white matter and grey matter and volume measurement afterwards.

  • Functional MRI
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) relies on the paramagnetic properties of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin to see images of changing blood flow in the brain associated with neural activity. This allows images to be generated that reflect which brain structures are activated during performance of different tasks. Our research is focused on:
  1.  fMRI Study Design
  2.  High Resolution fMRI Acquisition
  3.  fMRI Data Processing
  4.  Research combining with EEG
  5.  fMRI Clinical Application
  6.  State-of-the-art fMRI Technique Services

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  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging
Diffusion is the process by which matter is transported from one part of a system to another as a result of random molecular motions. Diffusion Coefficient, which describes the molecular displacements during a given time interval in a medium, can reflect information about molecular size/weight, viscosity, temperature, structure of confining medium. Therefore it becomes a local probe of struture. In this field, we will develop high resolution diffusion weighted imaging and apply it in neuroimaging as well as cancer and other diseases.

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  • MR Spectroscopy Imaging
MRS provides a measure of tissue chemistry.  Signals from various nuclei such as, 1H (proton), 23Na (sodium), 31P (phosphorus), can be measured.  For example, in brain, a series of compounds of key importance in tissue metabolic functions can be measured, including NAA, Choline, myo-inositol, creatine, lactate, glutamate and glutamine. The distribution and changes of these metabolites are closely related to different brain diseases, such as cancer, epilepsy and hypoxic or ischemic injury to the brain, etc. MRS is highly sensitive to metabolic changes and one excellent example by detecting chemical signature using MRS is to resolve the mismatch between perfusion and diffusion imaging in ischemic stroke diagnosis. 
1. Our 3T system offers multi-nuclei imaging/spectroscopy capability.
2. Our research interest will be focused on improving MRS imaging technique (spatially localized spectroscopy) and applying in various diseases, including but not limited to early stage cancer detection, epilepsy foci localization etc., by combing with other advanced MRI technology. 

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Example data from one slice of a multi-slice 2D-MRSI data from a normal human subject recorded at 3T. In addition to the anatomical MRI scan, spectroscopic images of choline, creatine, N-acetylaspartate, and residual lipid are shown, and selected spectra from two symmetric regions within the brain are displayed.