|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 4, 2000
New MRI Technology Provides Detailed Views of Brain Development, Response to Injury
Conferees Consider How Best to Use New Technology
- explaining how DT-MRI works
- examining normal brain structure, determined by DT-MRI
- imaging nerve tissue affected by stroke and other neurological disorders
- imaging nerve tissue in patients with cognitive disorders, such as dyslexia, and with behavioral disorders, such as schizophrenia
- imaging normal brain development of infants and children
- staging tumors
- imaging the heart
Carlo Pierpaoli, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher with the NICHD Section on Tissue Biophysics and Biomimetics, explained that DT-MRI provides information on normal and diseased brains that is not available from a conventional MRI. With DT-MRI, it is possible to depict brain regions that suffer from a lack of blood supply during an acute stroke. Researchers testing new medications to prevent brain damage that results from stroke can also use DT-MRI to assess the efficacy of the treatment. With DT-MRI it is also possible to assess damage to the fibers that connect the stroke area to regions of the brain that are distant from it. Dr. Pierpaoli said that DT-MRI can depict fibers that connect different regions of the brain and that investigators are using this technique to assess diseases in which the brain's "wiring" is expected to be abnormal, such as autism, attention deficit disorder, and schizophrenia. DT-MRI might also be used to detect abnormalities in the structure of the heart and other muscles.
In addition to NICHD, other co-sponsors of the conference are: the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Institute of Mental Health.
Detailed photographic images of the new technology are available at http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/dec2000/dt-mri.pdf. A videocast of the conference is available at http://videocast.nih.gov. The accompanying Background information, Diffusion Tensor MRI, provides specifics about the new technology.