A European first in Dementia research: a team of Cambridge Neuroscience investigators at the Cambridge Biomedical Research Unit in Dementia have introduced a new type of brain scan for the detection of brain changes in Dementia. For many years it has been possible to scan the build up of harmful ‘amyloid protein’ in the brain, but until now, it has not been possible to scan the damaging ‘tau protein’ that is a key part of Alzheimer’s disease and several other types of dementia. A new type of brain scan, using a chemical that lights up the damaging tau protein, has recently been developed. The NIMROD team in Cambridge, led by Professor John O'Brien (Psychiatry) and Dr James Rowe (Neurology), has worked closely with Professor Franklin Aigbirhio (Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, right) to introduce this new type of brain scan for Dementia research, with the first European study successfully undertaken this week. This is a very significant step forward for Dementia research, opening up a new way to diagnose and distinguish dementias and to test drugs that may slow down or prevent dementia.
Dr Tonny Veenith from the University Department of Anaesthesia led this study on the use of diffusion tensor imaging to assess the impact of normobaric hyperoxia within at-risk pericontusional tissue after traumatic brain injury.
This is a great achievement for the team and a good example of interdisciplinary and interdepartmental collaboration.
The paper can be found on Pubmed
Following a long collaboration with the Clinical Research Imaging Centre in Edinburgh on Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE), Dr Marius Mada contributed to the publishing of a new algorithm for real-time 4D phase unwrapping.
The article is available online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mrm.25332/abstract
WBIC has been offering 3D printing services to the NHS for nearly two years now. In a collaboration with the Maxillofacial Laboratory, Dr Marius Mada transformed CT images of patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries or facial bone tumours into plastic replicas using Computer Aided Design software and a commercial 3D printer. The models are helping the surgeons in the theatre or the technicians when they construct the cranioplasty plates.
We intend to extend this collaboration further and have more patients benefitting from this technology.
Our collaboration got the attention of the media and Dr Marius Mada and Mr Malcom Cameron from Addenbrooke's had a live intervention on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on the 12th of June.
(starts at 1:20:00 mins in)
Dr. Adrian Carpenter, Dr. Guy Williams and Dr. Marta Correia put together an interesting event for the Neuroscience community in Cambridge on the 30th of January at 2pm.
This study afternoon brings together four international leaders in 7T human imaging, who will share their experience of installing and using 7T human scanner. The afternoon ends with an update from the Siemens Ultra High Field group. The meeting will be of interest to researchers interested in what 7T imaging can offer.
Please book your place in advance to avoid dissapointment.
A novel and patient friendly method for measuring PCr kinetics post exercise has been designed and developed here at the WBIC by Dr Alison Sleigh, which has enabled the study of mitochondrial function in vivo in cohorts of people with reduced intellectual ability.
We have collaborated with researchers at the Cambridge Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Group (CIDDRG) to publish the first study to investigate mitochondrial function in vivo in people with Down’s syndrome (DS) using 31P-MRS. Our finding of defective mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle of adults with DS, compared with physical activity matched controls with an intellectual disability without DS, is consistent with previous in vitro studies and supports a theory of a global mitochondrial defect in DS.
Over the last 2 years Dr Julio Acosta-Cabronero together with WBIC collaborators have been optimising the Magnetic Susceptibility MRI sequence and developing post processing methods.
This study presents a details methodological QSM framework for semi-automated magnetic susceptibility measurements and offers a proof of concept of its strong potential to yield new insights in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.”
Follow the link: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0081093
Imaging study shows dopamine dysfunction is not the main cause of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
"These findings question the previously accepted view that major abnormalities in dopamine function are the main cause of ADHD in adult patients." Professor Trevor Robbins
Follow the link to read more:
An important new study at CPFT led by Consultant Psychiatrist Prof John O’Brien and Consultant Neurologist Dr James Rowe is looking into the possible role of the immune system in dementia and related memory disorders. The NIMROD (Neuroimaging of Inflammation in Memory and Other Disorders) study, in close collaboration with the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, aims to understand the role of inflammation in several forms of dementia, memory loss and depression. It also aims to identify the changes in the immune system, in the brain and rest of the body.
Work has completed to consolidate our current compute and cluster servers at the WBIC. By utilising the latest server technology we will be able to reduce our current compute/cluster server count from 76 Servers to just 8, but in turn this will constitute an increase of approx 50% more CPU/Memory processing power available than was previously, together with simplifying the current setup that has historically grown over time at the WBIC.
Compute servers:- The following servers are to be withdrawn from service(cs5,cs6,cs7,psych0,psych1,psych2,psych3,psych4,psych5,psych6,psych7,abi0,abi1,neurol2,neurol3,neurol4), and will be replaced with 4 new servers, cs1,cs2,cs3 and cs4 with each server benefitting from 16 CPU's and 32GB RAM.
Cluster Servers:- All the current cluster servers are to be withdrawn from service (cluster0-x,cluster1-x,cluster2-x,cluster3-x), and will be replaced with 4 new servers, cluster0-0, cluster1-0,cluster2-0 and cluster3-0 with each of these servers benefitting from 32 CPU's and 64GB RAM.
In a world exclusive, Panorama follows a group of severley brain injured patients and reveals the revolutionary efforts made to help them communicate with their families and the outside world.
Never before filmed, this Panorama Special spent more than a year with a group of vegetative patients in Britain and Canada.
They witness the moment when a patient regarded as vegative for more than a decade is able to answer a series of questions whilst inside a brain scanner.
The findings have profound implications for the patients and their families, as well as ethical consequences for scientists and medical staff.
The new Bruker instrument is a high performance digital AVANCE-III 300 MHz two channel (broadband H+X) NMR spectrometer. The NMR facility is capable of running all modern NMR experiments and on all standard NMR accessible nuclei including proton, carbon, fluorine, phosphorus, nitrogen, boron, etc. The AVANCE III NANOBAY console has a fully flexible research-level design suitable for use with multiple probeheads and accessories, routine and non standard or custom experiments (contact Dr R Canales firstname.lastname@example.org)
Notes: A link to an additional page with further information is under construction.
The Isaac Newton Trust and the Clinical School are jointly providing funding of £48,012 to upgrade/refurbishment our novel simultaneous PET/MR scanner. This instrument was a joint development between the Wolfson Brian Imaging Centre and the Cavendish laboratory and was initially funded by the EPSRC. Simultaneous measurement is a new approach to combine functional and morphological imaging in one instrument. The value of PET lies in its high-sensitivity to measuring biomarkers, but it does not provide consistent morphology. MR has lower sensitivity, but produces high soft-tissue contrast and our initial experiments have demonstrated some of the potential of simultaneous measure. The upgrade will provide functional MR (fMRI) and should result in the instrument being available for routine use.
Dr Marius Mada has been successful in his application to the Marmaduke Sheild Fund to purchase an HP 3D Printer. This will be used to rapid prototype custom parts for both MRE (Magnetic Resonance Elastography) and preclinical imaging studies at the Laboratory for Molecular Imaging. For further information if you would like to try out the printer contact Dr Mada by email.
A novel methodology for rapid and direct synthesis of PET probes has been developed in partnership with researchers from the National Institute of Mental Health.
The publication is here.
MHRA-PET Expert Panel - An expert panel on regulatory affairs to help researchers deal with the UK regulatory framework for medicines, specifically as applied to Positron Emission Tomography (PET) research.