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Professor Emsley collaborates closely with colleagues at the University of Manchester on a series of clinical imaging studies.

WATER EXCHANGE IN THE VASCULATURE OF THE BRAIN

Blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption contributes to the pathophysiology of numerous neurological diseases, but we lack reliable non-invasive imaging methods; this project will develop a new, sensitive, water-exchange based magnetic resonance imaging technique to probe BBB status, with the potential for multiple applications including earlier diagnosis and biomarker development. The project will include a preliminary patient-based study in stroke patients and control participants. This project is being led by University College London, in conjunction with several other partners. The preliminary stroke study is being led by Lancaster University.

Using glucose enhanced MRI to investigate glucose transport changes in dementia

Glucose uptake into the brain is thought to be reduced in patients with dementia and could be an important measurement to understand disease mechanisms and monitor progression. Brain imaging with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) provides a gold-standard measurement of glucose uptake but requires invasive arterial blood sampling if quantitation is required. Together with colleagues in Manchester, we have received funding to optimise and validate a non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, called glucose-enhanced MRI (GE-MRI), to measure glucose uptake by the brain. For the scan, sugar solution is injected into an arm vein and glucose-sensitised MRI is used to track how fast the sugar passes into brain.