The Neuroimaging Core (NC) plays an integral role in addressing the UCD ADC scientific theme by providing imaging-based biological markers of disease processes that damage brain structure and function and ultimately impact cognitive trajectories across a broad spectrum of ability. Building on the success of our two previous cycles of funded activities, the NC will continue to provide a set of core services related to acquisition, post-processing, storage, and dissemination of imaging data. In addition, the NC will continue to collaborate with neuroimaging institutions at UC Davis to incorporate novel state-of-the-art methods that further its scientific mission to make precise measurements of the natural course of late-life brain injury.
The Aims of the NC reflect a steady progression of the capabilities of the NC over time, and the Core is now a tightly-integrated component of the Center that enriches the other Cores and the AD research community. Specifically, the NC now provides raw images to the Clinical and Neuropathology Cores (CC and NPC) to support diagnostic activities, and provides validated, state-of-the-art measurements of brain structure and function to the Data Management and Statistics Core (DMSC) in support of research projects. The NC also participates in large-scale multi-site imaging studies and provides imaging data that promotes novel AD research. The NC also works with the Education and Information Transfer Core (EITC) to train investigators in neuroimaging methods and disseminate imaging related research advances. While the NC has limited resources, the images and imaging-based numerical measurements it collects are widely disseminated and utilized. This leveraging of resources enhances research productivity broadly and amplifies the initial investment in image acquisition. Thus, the NC provides benefits that extend far beyond the level of Core funding or support from individual research projects.
The UCD ADC focuses on factors that influence heterogeneity of late-life cognitive trajectories. Because longitudinal courses of brain injury play a key role in determining these trajectories, neuroimaging technologies that provide proxy measures of neuronal dysfunction and death are central to the scientific mission of the Center. The NC is an international leader in image-based measurement of these properties.
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