A major focus of the Wisconsin ADRC research agenda is multi-disciplinary translational neuroscience research in humans with evidence of AD or with risk factors. In-vivo neuroimaging assessments and sophisticated analytic techniques are increasingly being utilized or sought by our investigators to gain further insights about the neurobiology of AD. Thus, a NeuroImaging Core, constituting an MRI service, PET service and Data Informatics and Analysis service is proposed whose purpose will be to provide necessary infrastructure and resources for investigators to successfully implement imaging outcomes in an efficient manner. This will reduce duplication of effort and resources, while at the same time maximizing the possibilities of collaboration and the leveraging of data across ADRC affiliated projects through standardization of a select subset of core scan sequences. Over the prior funding period we developed a highly successful imaging service within the Neuropathology and Biomarkers Core (Core D) with extensive utilization and growth that exceeded projections resulting in support for 41 funded projects, the majority were funded federally. This occurred largely by emphasizing support of new faculty and faculty who were not imaging experts per se, but nevertheless desired to enhance the significance and impact of their studies by incorporating state of the art imaging outcomes. The breadth and depth of Wisconsin ADRC supported and pending/planned imaging projects warrant more comprehensive infrastructure and service delivery to improve our ability to collaborate and enhance the scientific mission and impact of the Wisconsin ADRC.
The Specific Aims of the Core are:
Aim 1. Primary ADRC support) To provide imaging support for the ADRC cohorts (MRI) and support the MRI and amyloid imaging needs in Project 2. This includes support for data acquisition, data management, pipeline programming for image preprocessing, and data analysis. All newly enrolled ADRC participants are asked to have an MRI at baseline. All IMPACT and MCI participants will be invited to have a follow-up MRI scan every two years in conjunction with their regular ADRC visit;these cohorts were selected for repeat imaging because of their high local programmatic scientific value to many of our projects. Approximately 1170 MRI scans are projected for the ADRC alone.
Aim 2) To provide imaging informatics support for all ADRC-affiliated projects including tools for cataloging and interacting with imaging data in a project specific manner. We will use these tools to continue to actively manage the many ADRC-affiliated neuroimaging projects that use our infrastructure. This includes management of the existing repository of 2300 MRI exams and 520 PET exams spanning 39+ projects, as well as an expected 3000 additional imaging exams during the renewal funding period.
Aim 3 : Methodology infrastructure: To make available the latest advanced PET and MRI imaging methods and data analysis capabilities in support of ADRC affiliated projects. We will assist projects obtain regular high quality data acquisition, continue to develop and deploy pipelines for preprocessing and also assist with the project-specific image analysis as needed. As new developments in imaging and analysis develop we will integrate these into our repertoire. The core will optimize imaging protocols, implement quality improvement processes, and evolve our pipelines to accommodate new approaches and sequences.
Aim 4) Consultation and Training: Provide training to investigators and staff in the ADRC and University of Wisconsin-Madison campus at large on neuroimaging methods and analysis techniques pertaining to neuro- disorders. This includes regular seminars and formal courses as well as individual and small group instruction. We will also provide pre- and post-award consultation to investigators who are implementing/planning imaging studies, and assist in grant preparation, study design, and startup.
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