Neuroimaging

The Challenge

The brain, the most complex organ in our bodies, is protected through its unique design and location within the human skull. One of the biggest challenges in treating diseases and injury to the brain is the ability to view and assess the problem.

Neuro-imaging offers us a window into the brain.

Advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including functional MRI, as well as advances in CT, SPECT and PET, are revolutionizing the care of patients with neurologic disorders.

For example, modern techniques allow the imaging of subtle neurological abnormalities that cause seizures and enable many more people with epilepsy to benefit from surgical treatment.

MRI can now identify spinal vascular malformations that are amenable to treatment before they cause paralysis. Many of these went undiagnosed 30 years ago.

Advanced image processing lets clinicians and researchers measure the subtle shrinkage of brain regions over time (from chronic disease progression) and use this information to test new therapies.

Every advancement in technique, technology and application generates discovery and treatment possibilities for neurological disease. Although UC San Diego is a world leader in neuroscience research, currently these advances don’t always make their way to benefit patients directly.

The Innovation

UC San Diego is creating the Center for Translational Neuro-imaging (CTN) to fill the gap between research and treatment. The Center will:

  • Provide a framework for researchers and practitioners to develop and apply new neuro-imaging protocols and analysis methods
  • Develop, maintain and support state-of-the-art acquisition protocols available on both clinical and research-dedicated imaging devices
  • Integrate data analysis, visualization, and quantification into workflows for clinical research and clinical routine
  • Support development of novel clinical applications of imaging technologies
  • Connect infrastructure to enable large-scale studies of quantitative brain phenotypes by leveraging the clinical workflow across UC San Diego

Providing tools and services

To bring about "first in class" neuro-imaging approaches, the CTN will provide a comprehensive set of tools and services to UC San Diego researchers and clinicians that will enhance the department’s ability to provide research, care and education, including:

  • Structural, functional, and resting state magnetic resonance imaging (MRI; fMRI; RS-fMRI)
  • Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)
  • Atlas-based tractography
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
  • Magnetoencephalography (MEG)

Related Clinical Programs

Related Faculty

Brain 
Using neuroimaging to diagnose Alzheimer's Disease (with Dr. Jim Brewer and Neurosciences Chair William Mobley)