Pediatric MR imaging is especially difficult due to motion-related artifacts in the images. Often this requires general anesthesia in the clinic, which has been shown recently to be detrimental to brain development. This places unique barriers on assessment of this population for both clinical and research purposes. In this application, we propose the development of the Next Generation Pediatric Neuroimaging (NGPN) technology, which will allow for high quality MR images to be collected in the presence of motion, thereby eliminating the need for general anesthesia while imaging. This technology will provide the MRI contrasts for proton density, T1, T2, T2*, diffusion, perfusion, and fMRI. The NGPN will be achieved by the development of novel hardware (RF coils and T/R switches), imaging sequences, and image reconstruction tools. These advancements will allow clinicians and researchers to image pediatric subjects in a safer, more reliable and efficient manner.
The project will make new tools for magnetic resonance imaging of children. It will help make the scan quieter and correct for movement if the child cannot keep their head still. This will make it easier for children to participate in brain research and eventually lead to quicker and safer scans at the hospital or clinic.