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Functional and Morphological Imaging of the Human Brain using Magnetic Resonance Imaging – E. Mark Haacke

Date: Thu. January 20th, 2005, 4:15 pm-5:15 pm
Location: Rockefeller 301

Magnetic resonance imaging is an ever developing area that makes it possible to image the human body in vivo. The development of nuclear magnetic resonance in physics has led to multiple Nobel Prizes in various fields. The two most recent are in MR imaging for Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield. That this should be so is evidenced by the amazing number of clinical and technical applications of this methodology. Today we can image down to resolutions of a few hundred microns in vivo, we can watch the brain at work and we can measure chemical processes in action. In this presentation, I will give a brief overview of the basics of MRI, and show several examples of what can be accomplished with this technology in imaging the brain. A number of different contrast mechanisms will be introduced, including spin density, T1 and T2 as well as some new concepts of diffusion tensor imaging, susceptibility weighted imaging and functional brain imaging. Some examples will be presented at standard fields of 1.5 Tesla and others up to 4 Tesla. The role that physics plays in these developments will be stressed. These methods allow us to study normal human anatomy and physiology as well as diseased states. The ability of the above mentioned methods to diagnose disease is making it possible today to either detect the disease state earlier and/or to follow the effects of treatment. Specifically, I will focus on applications related to trauma, stroke and tumors. As technology improves, we may yet find ourselves able to do in vivo microscopic imaging, if not directly at least indirectly.

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