The mission of the neuroimaging core is to facilitate functional and structural neuroimaging by ADRC investigators, to develop and maintain a neuroimaging database and to educate investigators on the potential of structural/functional neuroimaging in AD research.
The specific aims are: (1) Provide imaging data acquisition and processing for ADRC Project 1: The Course of Cognitive Change in Late Adulthood (Zelinski) and Project 3: Mild Cognitive Impairment in a Chinese-American Community (Zheng). (2) Provide technical support to investigators for pilot neuroimaging studies on a wide range of topics covering structural imaging, arterial spin-labeled (ASL) perfusion imaging, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), voxel-based image analysis, and multimodality image co-registration. (3) Implement a web-based imaging database to archive and retrieve neuroimages and associated information acquired by ADRC investigators at USC and related sites, and (4) facilitate access to various imaging centers at USC including the new NIH funded 3T Research Resource located within the Department of Radiology at USC. The neuroimaging core has developed key technology in spatiotemporal fMRI and DTI tractography including normalization and quantification of tracts through white matter. During the past 5 years, the core supported 12 projects and pilots with the design of structural and functional imaging protocols including data acquisition, image processing and data analyses. The core also played a major role in successfully obtaining a High End Instrumentation grant from NCRR to establish a 3T research MRI facility at USC.
Neuroimaging of the brain can offer early detection of Alzheimer and cerebrovascular disease. The Neuroimaging Core will assist Project 1 in differentiating different types of cognitive decline in elderly persons. It will assist Project 3 in determining whether decreased retinal blood flow can provide a screening tool for cerebrovascular disease.
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