Seven tesla MRI study examining brain structure, iron deposition, inflammation and neurochemistry in Lewy body dementias, Alzheimer’s disease and healthy older adults.
Aims of study: ‘7T-DLB’ uses the ultra-high resolution (7T) MRI scanner at the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre (WBIC, University of Cambridge) to investigate Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) and Parkinson’s Disease Dementia (PDD) in more detail than previously possible. We are set to scan 30 volunteers with these conditions, and will also be scanning 30 volunteers with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and 30 older adults without cognitive problems. We will be obtaining very high resolution images of brain structure, susceptibility weighted images (which are sensitive to iron), and using MR spectroscopy to quantify changes in the neurotransmitters GABA and glutamate (which are linked to alertness and hallucinations). In comparing our findings with cognitive testing and the symptoms described by our study participants we hope to gain a greater understanding of how DLB and PDD develop in the brain, how DLB and PDD differ from AD and healthy aging, and how brain changes produce the symptoms specific to this type of dementia. Ultimately, a greater understanding of these forms of dementia may lead to new insights; informing the search for novel diagnostic tests and treatment targets.
Funder: 7T-DLB is primarily funded via an Alzheimer’s society Clinical Research Fellowship for Dr Elizabeth McKiernan (AS-CTF-17b-003)
PI: Professor John O’Brien
Co-supervisor: Professor Li Su
Study lead: Dr Elizabeth McKiernan
Advisors: Dr Guy Williams, Dr Caterina Rua
Study team: Mrs Allison Bentley, Dr Maria Prats-Sedano, George Savulich, Elijah Mak
7T MRI for neurodegenerative dementias in vivo: a systematic review of the literature. McKiernan EF, O’Brien JT. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2017;0:1–11. doi:10.1136/jnnp-2016-315022
For further information about this study please contact Dr Elizabeth McKiernan
Phone (daytime Monday, Tuesday, Thursday): 07753 801290