Functional and Diffusion Weighted MRI of the Spinal Cord
The last decade has given researchers effective methods to investigate the living human brain. Diffusion Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DWMRI) and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) are two of those methods that use the potential of MR-scanners, today found at most hospitals. DWMRI uses self-diffusion of water, i.e. the random thermal motion of water molecules to probe the micro structure of a tissue and fMRI measures changes in blood flow to spatially identify neural activity.
In the PhD project of Henrik Lundell those methods are transferred to the spinal cord. This includes some changes in the methodology to meet demanding imaging condition such as small size, cardic and respiratory motion and magnetic inhomogeneities around the vertebrae. However, the methods used reveal details not seen with x-ray methods or conventional MRI. Studies on normal subjects and patients with spinal cord injuries are carried out within the project to better understand the spinal mechanisms underlying locomotion. Perspectives for the project is to find better ways to an early diagnosis of a spinal cord injury.
Head of project: Henrik Lundell
Supervisor: Jens Bo Nielsen