Project Background/Rationale: The mission of the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC) is to fill gaps in knowledge about the basic science of concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), determine its effects on late-life outcomes and neurodegeneration, identify Service Members most susceptible to these effects, and identify the most effective treatment strategies. The CENC is a multi-center collaboration linking premier basic science, translational, and clinical neuroscience researchers from the Department of Defense, VA, academic universities, and private research institutes to effectively address the scientific, diagnostic, and therapeutic ramifications of mTBI and its long-term effects. The Houston-based CENC Neuroimaging Core is comprised of an interdisciplinary team of neuroimaging experts from neuroradiology, neuropsychology, MR physics, information technology and computer programming, and statistics who facilitate sequence development and pulse programming, training and supervision of technologists, acquisition of imaging data, quality assurance, conventional and advanced imaging analysis, transfer and storage of imaging data, and assistance in interpreating neuroimaging data for existing and future Consortium projects. The Core is comprised of both VA- and academic-affiliate resources; an expansion of existing Core funds already granted to the academic affiliate (Baylor College of Medicine) is needed due to the Consortium's growth and the resulting change in the Core's scope of work. Specifically, expansion of the number of study sites for existing studies and the addition of several new projects has substantially increased the Core's responsibilities, including additional oversight, quality control, analysis, and administrative duties for Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC)-based Core investigators and staff. Project Objectives: Objectives of the Neuroimaging Core are to: 1) assist in the acquisition of brain imaging data, including conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), detailed volumetry and cortical thickness, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), arterial spin labeling (ASL), and resting state functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI); 2) transfer, convert, analyze, and store brain imaging data; 3) direct and assist in performing quality assurance of the scanners at all sites involved in imaging data collection; and 4) communicate with the investigators of projects involving imaging to facilitate integration of imaging data into the projects to address their aims. Project Methods: The collective expertise of the investigators in the Core facilitates utilization and analysis of several conventional and advanced imaging techniques. MEDVAMC-based Core personnel, including MR physicists, oversee quality assurance testing on each magnet, which is performed on a regular basis to ensure scanner accuracy, stability, and comparability. Core personnel assist in the pulse programming and sequence development for advanced MR sequences used in specific projects. Core investigators provide additional training to MR technologists and also to project coordinators on preparing participants to undergo imaging. Core personnel additionally provide assistance with computer programming to facilitate data sorting and analysis. Due to the complex nature of transferring and storing very large amounts of data as well as frequent software updates required by some imaging analysis programs, individuals with IT expertise are also involved. Core personnel also train and supervise all image analysts, assist in the interpretation of imaging data, and assist in manuscript preparation.
The Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC) Neuroimaging Core facilitates the collection, quality control (QC), transfer, analysis, storage, and integration of structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in Consortium projects utilizing imaging to study traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Veterans. The Neuroimaging Core is comprised of both VA- and academic-affiliate resources; an expansion of existing Core funds granted to the academic affiliate (Baylor College of Medicine) is needed due to the Consortium's growth since its inception and the resultant change in the Core's scope of work. Specifically, expansion of the number of Longitudinal Study sites and the addition of several new projects has substantially increased the Core's responsibilities, including additional oversight, QC, analysis, and administrative duties for Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC)-based Core investigators and staff. This expansion is necessary for the continued efforts of the Consortium in addressing critical issues related to TBI and its associated comorbidities.
|Wilde, Elisabeth A; Bigler, Erin D; Huff, Trevor et al. (2016) Quantitative structural neuroimaging of mild traumatic brain injury in the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC): Comparison of volumetric data within and across scanners. Brain Inj 30:1442-1451|
|Stone, James R; Wilde, Elisabeth A; Taylor, Brian A et al. (2016) Supervised learning technique for the automated identification of white matter hyperintensities in traumatic brain injury. Brain Inj 30:1458-1468|
|Wilde, Elisabeth A; Bouix, Sylvain; Tate, David F et al. (2015) Advanced neuroimaging applied to veterans and service personnel with traumatic brain injury: state of the art and potential benefits. Brain Imaging Behav 9:367-402|