NeuRA Imaging Centre

FACILITY INFORMATION

NeuRA has made a 3T MRI scanner available for research since 2003. The current scanner is a Philips 3T TX MRI (upgraded May 2010).

The facility currently operates for research 50% of the time and is open for research to scientists on a merit-based, user pays basis. It supports an active MRI research community of researchers from UNSW, The University of Sydney, Macquarie University and The University of Western Sydney as well as researchers from interstate and international sites as required.

LATEST NEWS AND EVENTS

Workshop on Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

A two day course on magnetic resonance spectroscopy will be held at Neuroscience Research Australia, on Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th of November 2017.

Troubleshooting those MRI button boxes

A two day course on magnetic resonance spectroscopy will be held at Neuroscience Research Australia, on Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th of November 2017.

Collect your MRI data via Hippocampus

A two day course on magnetic resonance spectroscopy will be held at Neuroscience Research Australia, on Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th of November 2017.

New MRI simulator computer

A two day course on magnetic resonance spectroscopy will be held at Neuroscience Research Australia, on Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th of November 2017.

See what’s going on at NeuRA

FEEL THE BUZZ IN THE AIR? US TOO.

Caress the Detail: A Comprehensive MRI Atlas of the in Vivo Human Brain

This project aims to deliver the most comprehensive, detailed and stereotaxically accurate MRI atlas of the canonical human brain. In human neuroscience, researchers and clinicians almost always investigate images obtained from living individuals. Yet, there is no satisfactory MRI atlas of the human brain in vivo or post-mortem. There are some population-based atlases, which valiantly solve a number of problems, but they fail to address major needs. Most problematically, they segment only a small number of brain structures, typically about 50, and they are of limited value for the interpretation of a single subject/patient. In contrast to population-based approaches, the present project will investigate normal, living subjects in detail. We aim to define approximately 800 structures, as in the histological atlas of Mai, Majtanik and Paxinos (2016), and, thus, provide a “gold standard” for science and clinical practice. We will do this by obtaining high-resolution MRI at 3T and 7T of twelve subjects through a collaboration with Markus Barth from the Centre for Advanced Imaging at the University of Queensland (UQ). The limited number of subjects will allow us to image each for longer periods, obtaining higher resolution and contrast, and to invest the required time to produce unprecedented detail in segmentation. We will produce an electronic atlas for interpreting MR images, both as a tablet application and as an online web service. The tablet application will provide a convenient and powerful exegesis of brain anatomy for researchers and clinicians. The open access web service will additionally provide images, segmentation and anatomical templates to be used with most common MR-analysis packages (e.g., SPM, FSL, MINC, BrainVoyager). This will be hosted in collaboration with UQ, supporting and complementing their population-based atlas.
PROJECT

PUBLICATIONS

Characterizing Sexual Behavior in Frontotemporal Dementia.

Ahmed RM, Kaizik C, Irish M, Mioshi E, Dermody N, Kiernan MC, Piguet O, Hodges JR

We aimed to systematically quantify changes in sexual behavior, including current symptoms and changes from prior diagnoses, in behavioral-variant (bvFTD) and semantic dementia (SD), compared to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Overall loss of affection, reduced initiation of sexual activity, and responsiveness is an overwhelming feature of bvFTD. In contrast, aberrant or unusual sexual behavior is observed in the minority of bvFTD patients. The underlying pathophysiology of these changes likely reflects structural and functional changes in frontoinsular and limbic regions including the hypothalamus.

Eating behavior in frontotemporal dementia: Peripheral hormones vs hypothalamic pathology.

Ahmed RM, Latheef S, Bartley L, Irish M, Halliday GM, Kiernan MC, Hodges JR, Piguet O

To contrast the relationships of hormonal eating peptides and hypothalamic volumes to eating behavior and metabolic changes (body mass index [BMI]) in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA). Eating abnormalities are multifactorial in FTD. In bvFTD, they are in part related to hypothalamic degeneration, with potential disintegration of the network connections between the hypothalamus and orbitofrontal cortex/reward pathways. In svPPA, although hypothalamic volumes are preserved, this group experiences elevated AgRP levels similar to bvFTD, which predicts BMI in both groups. This finding highlights the potential key role of AgRP in eating and metabolic changes and provides a potential target for treatment to modify disease progression.

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