Neurodegenerative diseases (ND) are generally associated with structural and functional brain abnormalities, including brain tissue loss and reduced cerebral blood flow. However, accurate detection of tissue loss and abnormal blood flow remains a challenge for MRI. Limited signal and contrast to noise ratios are major obstacles to measure subtle brain abnormalities with high precision. In addition, the complexity of neurodegeneration, including structural, functional, and metabolic abnormalities requires a multivariate imaging approach.

The overall goal of this component of the research resource proposal is to develop new methods of structural and perfusion MRI that provide improved signal and contrast to noise, resolution as well as sensitivity, in order to capture reliably and accurately brain alterations in ND. Over the past decade, the investigators of the Acquisition Core have developed a suite of new MRI acquisition and RF pulse methods, in order to achieve higher efficiency, sensitivity, and precision. The current application is an extension of this previous work and represents the combined efforts of the investigators to develop improved acquisition techniques focused on the detection of ND. The Acquisition Core consists of three complementary projects.

Project 1:  Quantitative Structural and Dynamic Perfusion Imaging
Project 2:  Efficient Mapping of Arterial Spin Labeling Using 3D GRASE Imaging
Project 3:  Radiofrequency (RF) Pulse Development and Design for High Field MRI