Coordinator: José M. BENLLOCH
Project Number: 603002
The key concept behind this proposal is the development of a very high resolution and high efficiency brain dedicated Positron Emission Tomograph (PET) imager that can visualize neurotransmitter pathways and their disruptions in the quest to better diagnose and consequently to better treat schizophrenia. In addition, the plan is for this compact PET imager to be integrated with a Magnetic Resonance Imager Radio Frequency (MRI RF) system to be able to operate as a brain insert in a hybrid imaging setup with practically any MRI scanner.
From the technical point of view, we propose to optimize the PET technology for imaging of the human brain with the accuracy typically achieved for small animal brain imaging. To achieve this, we will incorporate the solid state based MRI-compatible PET modules that will be designed to achieve below systemic 1mm spatial resolution in a tomographic reconstruction of the human brain.
We aim to achieve the level of PET-MRI compatibility allowing for simultaneous PET and MRI imaging. By combining PET measurements of neurotransmission with fMRI (functional MRI) measurements of Blood Oxygen Level Detection (BOLD) signal changes we will advance to a position where it is possible to learn more about the neurochemical determination of neural activity reflected in BOLD signal changes.
The novelty is that both the PET and RF coil systems are integrated into a portable and compact design dedicated to brain examination. This will allow current MR equipment to be easily upgraded into PET/MR systems.
To achieve its diagnostic goal, MINDView will be paired with the set of dedicated specific PET imaging agents and endogenous compounds that will be labeled with short-lived positron isotopes. The goal is that dopaminergic, glutamatergic and other pathways will be able to be studied with the new high performance imaging tool. Innovative paradigms such as activation and perturbation and their impact on brain function will be in focus.