The long term objective of the project is to develop a new motion robust magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology. Magnetic resonance imaging is a powerful tool that aids in the diagnosis of individual subjects, guides their clinical care, ad provides insights into the mechanisms of normal and atypical development. The characterization of mental health disorders across the lifespan has been facilitated by brain MRI. However, conventional magnetic resonance imaging requires the subject being imaged remain perfectly still for the duration of the image encoding. Young children and non-cooperative adult patients have difficulty to hold still long enough for successful imaging. For clinical imaging such patients are frequently sedated or anesthetized, which runs the risk of adverse events, is costly, and does not ensure the subjects remain perfectly still. Research studies are typically unable to use sedation or anesthesia due to its significant risk. This hampers our ability to identify the neurobiological underpinnings of mental health disorders. The development of motion robust magnetic resonance imaging will enable dramatic improvements in our capacity to chart the trajectory of mental illness over the lifespan. This will have a significant impact on our ability to determine when, where and how to intervene, and enable improved evaluation of potential interventions. The project proposes to utilize a combination of hardware for prospective motion tracking during scan and post-acquisition processing with scattered data interpolation to enable the construction of high resolution high signal-to-noise ratio images of the brain from subjects who are unable to hold still.
The specific aims of this Phase II STTR application are: (1) to modify the EndoScout tracking system to enable realtime motion tracking on any scanner, with no hardware connections to the scanner and with no software changes in the scanner;(2) to accelerate retrospective processing time to achieve rapid reconstruction of motion-free 3D image set and thus to enable clinical evaluation of the scans before the subject is taken out of the scanner;(3) to apply the method to additional sequences that are needed for clinical use of the system;(4) to conduct technical tests with a moving phantom and volunteer tests to verify the performance of the system before its being used in the clinical studies: (5) to conduct a two-phase clinical study of the system, including a "try first without sedation" study in the general pediatric population and in Tuberous Sclerosis patients. This is a joint project by Robin Medical, Inc., which will develop the motion tracking system and the accelerated processing software and will conduct technical tests of the system;and the Research Section at the Department of Radiology, Children's Hospital Boston, which will develop the imaging sequences and will conduct the volunteer and clinical studies of the project.
The proposed project aims to enable MRI in children and non-cooperative adults without sedation or anesthesia. If successful, it will reduce healthcare costs as sedation or anesthesia for MRI doubles or triples the cost of the scan;it will expand the use of MRI in children and non-cooperative adults to smaller hospitals that do not have the required resources to conduct MRI under sedation or anesthesia;and it will eliminate the risks associated with sedation or anesthesia and thus will enable to expand the use of MRI to clinical and research application where it is now not being used due to associated risks.
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