Brain Imaging

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The brain can be imaged in a variety of different ways, the choice of imaging modality depending on the research question being answered. Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a very versatile modality that can provide structural and functional data with new developments allowing increasingly complex analyses. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy provides a measure of brain chemistry. Computed Tomography provides more basic structural data, but a strength of CT is the ability to obtain contrast based regional blood flow and blood volume data. Positron Emission Tomography can provide exquisite quantitative data on the distribution of radiolabled compounds. These can be standard labeled compounds such as glucose or dopamine or custom labeling of test compounds can be developed. These images are routinely co-registered to CT images for precise anatomical location of the regions of uptake of the radiopharmaceutical.

Brain imaging data is well correlated with cognitive function in several species. CanCog Technologies can provide cognitive testing services to support imaging data in several species

Structural Brain Imaging

T1 weighted

  • MRI or CT to demonstrate structural changes in response to interventions
  • T1, T2. PD sequences
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging to evaluate changes in myelination
  • Quantitative and qualitative assessment of morphological features or regions of interest by image processing

Diffusion Tensor Imaging data showing increasing fractional anisotropy in the frontal lobe, implying increasing myelination with increasing age in young beagle dogs.

Data indicating performance on the landmark allocentric learning improves with increased myelination in one year old beagle dogs.

Functional Brain Imaging

  • Dynamic contrast perfusion to assess blood brain barrier permeability and regional cerebral blood flow using either MRI or CT
  • PET/CT imaging with additional coregistration to MRI images if required to quantify glucose uptake
  • Imaging of brain tissues using standard PET radiopharmaceuticals eg F-18 DOPA
  • Imaging of brain tissues with custom developed radiopharmaceuticals linked to specific naturally occurring brain chemicals or novel compounds

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Quantification of changes in brain chemistry associated with the development and decline of neural function in response to therapeutics

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy data showing changes in brain metabolites associated with brain development in growing beagles, including markers of neuronal health. Effects of therapeutics can be assessed in attenuating or improving brain development.

Data showing change in concentration of brain metabolites in 10 year old compared to 2 year old beagle dogs

T1 Weighted