University of Vermont

MRI Center for Biomedical Imaging

University of Vermont College of Medicine MRI Center for Biomedical Imaging

Research

Brain Scan

 

The majority of the research projects taking place at the UVM MRI Center are focused on the brain; however, we also support several projects focused on other anatomical regions of the body. Abnormalities like: Alzheimer's disease (AD); Multiple Sclerosis (MS); Preeclampsia; and brain tumor MR imaging are only a few of the neuro related disease processes, or abnormalities that are under investigation at the MRI Center. In addition, UVM researchers from across several departments within the College of Medicine are using fMRI to investigate questions relating to menopause and cognition; chemotherapy and cognition; cognitive behavioral therapy and chronic pain; traumatic brain injury (TBI); and the effects of nicotine on attention deficit disorder. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)-risk factors for injury has been the focus of orthopedic researchers at UVM, in which very high-resolution 3D images have been obtained at the MRI Center.

More recently, UVM researchers have been using state-of-the-art quantitative MRI measures (pCASL) to assess blood perfusion in women at risk for preeclampsia. The MRI Center has been using a T1ρ weighted whole-brain 3D TSE MRI technique, with a variable flip angle and fluid suppression that may be sensitive to neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, or even brain tumors.

 

Trevor Andrews, Ph.D. (Bio)

  • Age-Dependent Changes in White-Matter and Gray Matter T1rho Values
    The aim of this study is to investigate changes in T1ρ values across adulthood.
  • Test-Retest Reproducibility of T1ρ Mapping in Brain at 3T
    This study evaluates the test-retest reproducibility of a fluid suppressed 3D T1ρ weighted TSE MRI acquisition.
  • T1ρ MR is Sensitive to Changes in Normal Appearing White Matter and Gray Matter in Multiple Sclerosis
    The aim of this study is to evaluate the sensitivity of a fluid suppressed 3D T1ρ weighted TSE to changes in white matter and gray matter in multiple sclerosis patients.
  • T1ρ MR as a Biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease
    The aim of this study is to determine if a fluid suppressed 3D T1ρ weighted TSE MRI scan can be used as a quantitative biomarker of various types of brain tumors.

Ira Bernstein, M.D. (Bio)

  • Prepregnancy Phenotype and Predisposition to Preeclampsia
    The MRI measures of this study are designed to assess brain edema and perfusion in women who are at risk for developing preeclampsia. High directional diffusion tensor imaging and non-contrast pseudo continuous arterial spin labeling (pCASL) will be used.

Bruce Beynnon, Ph.D. (Bio)

  • A Case Control Study of ACL Risk Factors
    This study is designed to assess the risk factors for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

Julie Dumas, Ph.D. (Bio)

  • Post-Menopausal Research
    The overarching goal of this program is to conduct clinical research studies that seek to understand the mechanisms behind changes in cognition and behavior that occur in women after menopause.
  • Breast Cancer & Cognition
    This study is evaluating the effects of chemotherapy on brain cognition in women with breast cancer.

Hugh Garavan, Ph.D. (Bio)

  • The Neurobiology Underlying Agonist Maintenance Treatment for Opioid Dependence
    The aim of the proposed exploratory pilot study is to examine neurobiological processes and cognitive functioning that occur as patients enter opioid maintenance treatment and achieve varying durations of opioid abstinence.

Magdalena Naylor, M.D., Ph.D. (Bio)

  • Measuring the Effects of CBT on Pain with Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)
    The purpose of this study is to investigate whether a psychotherapeutic approach, group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), alters the dysfunctional emotional and sensory neural circuitry associated with chronic pain as examined by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Joshua Nickerson, M.D. (Bio)

  • Functional ASL
    The goal of this study is to determine the feasibility of using a quantitative functional imaging technique (FASL), compared to standard qualitative approach, like (BOLD) fMRI.  

Alexandra Potter, Ph.D. (Bio)

  • ADHD fMRI Studies
    These studies will collect data on cognitive functioning (attention, memory and decision-making) during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in people with and without ADHD. fMRI is a 3-dimensional picture of the brain using magnetic waves. We will ask participants to perform various cognitive tasks while in an fMRI machine to examine what areas of the brain are activated by these tasks. Monetary compensation will be provided to participants.
  • Adult Brain Study: In this study we want to see how the brains of adults with ADHD function differently when asked to do tasks involving behavioral inhibition. To this end we are recruiting 100 non-smoking adults (18-65), 50 with and 50 without ADHD, and asking them to participate in two 2-hour study days in which they will perform a computer task while in the fMRI scanner.
  • Adolescent and Young Adult Brain Study: This study is designed the same as the Adult Brain Study except we are studying the brain function of younger age groups to better understand the neurobiological underpinnings of ADHD from a developmental aspect. We are testing how the brains of people with and without ADHD process information, as well as how teenagers process information differently than adults. We will be studying adolescents (13-18) and young adults (21-26) with and without ADHD. Participants will come to the hospital for two 2-hour study visits during which they will perform a computer task while in the fMRI scanner.
  • Nicotine Brain Study: The goal of this study is to use functional MRI to examine how nicotine improves impulse control and working memory in young adults (18-25) who either have or do not have ADHD. This study will look at patterns of brain activation associated with nicotine and methylphenidate (Ritalin, a common treatment for ADHD) to help understand how the differences in the brain functioning of people who have ADHD may affect their behavior. We are looking for 24 non-smoking young adults (18-25) who have, and 24 who do not have, ADHD. The volunteers will complete three 6-hour study visits in which they will receive nicotine alone, methylphenidate (Ritalin) alone, or placebo and then be asked to perform computer tasks in the fMRI.

Richard Watts, D.Phil (Bio)

  • Age-Dependent Changes in White-Matter and Gray Matter T1rho Values
    The aim of this study is to investigate changes in T1ρ values across adulthood.
  • Test-Retest Reproducibility of T1ρ Mapping in Brain at 3T
    This study evaluates the test-retest reproducibility of a fluid suppressed 3D T1ρ weighted TSE MRI acquisition.
  • T1ρ MR is Sensitive to Changes in Normal Appearing White Matter and Gray Matter in Multiple Sclerosis
    The aim of this study is to evaluate the sensitivity of a fluid suppressed 3D T1ρ weighted TSE to changes in white matter and gray matter in multiple sclerosis patients.
  • T1ρ MR as a Biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease
    The aim of this study is to determine if a fluid suppressed 3D T1ρ weighted TSE MRI scan can be used as a quantitative biomarker of various types of brain tumors.

Last modified August 29 2013 08:18 AM