Brain Imaging

The field of neuroimaging has greatly expanded over the past several years. Brain imaging is being used in many areas of research on Alzheimer’s disease, both to assist in the early detection of the disease and to help monitor the progress of the disease over time. Center investigators with interests in neuroimaging include Drs. Ron Killiany, Neil Kowall and David Salat.

Drs. Kowall and Killiany are co-leaders at the BU site of the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a $60 million dollar, 5-year public-private partnership overseen by the National Institute on Aging. The ADNI study plans to enroll 800 participants nationwide to test whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and other clinical and neuropsychological measures can be combined to better understand the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Neuroimaging research has suggested that PET or MRI may serve as a more sensitive and consistent measure of disease progression than the neuropsychological and cognitive assessments now typically used in research and clinical practice.

Neuroimaging research at BUMC has been greatly assisted by its new Center for Biomedical Imaging (CBI). The CBI houses a 3 Tesla Philips MRI scanner for functional, structural, and spectroscopic studies for human and animal studies. Located in the basement of the “Evans Biomedical Research Center” (X-building on 650 Albany Street), the center provides MRI scan time and expertise in all modalities of MRI for scientists within the Boston University community.

Additionally, imaging research takes place at the Neuroimaging Research Center located at Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System in Jamaica Plain.