Our primary motivation is to develop innovative brain, spinal cord, and nerve imaging technologies that are strategically designed to guide surgery, improve diagnostics, expand our understanding of disease progression, and to serve as biomarkers of therapeutic response.
Numerous MRI methods have shown utility in assessing neurodegeneration and repair in the brain. More recent studies have indicated the usefulness of these techniques in the spinal cord and nerves; however, their application has been limited due to the technical challenges associated with imaging these structures.
Our research aims to overcome these challenges through innovative technical developments that provide quantitative MRI biomarkers of degeneration and regeneration throughout the central and peripheral nervous system. This involves both translational studies in humans and validation studies in animal models. In both cases, we work closely with neurosurgeons and/or neurologists at Barrow to ensure our methods have maximal impact on patient care. We currently have ongoing projects that focus on applications in nerve and spinal cord trauma, multiple sclerosis, inherited neuropathies, and inflammatory neuropathies.