Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New imaging technique holds promise for speeding MS research

Date:
June 12, 2013
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
Researchers have developed a new magnetic resonance imaging technique that detects the telltale signs of multiple sclerosis in finer detail than ever before -- providing a more powerful tool for evaluating new treatments.

A frequency-based MRI image of an MS patient shows changes in tissue structure.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of British Columbia

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have developed a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that detects the telltale signs of multiple sclerosis in finer detail than ever before -- providing a more powerful tool for evaluating new treatments.

Related Articles


The technique analyzes the frequency of electro-magnetic waves collected by an MRI scanner, instead of the size of those waves. Although analyzing the number of waves per second had long been considered a more sensitive way of detecting changes in tissue structure, the math needed to create usable images had proved daunting.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) occurs when a person's immune cells attack the protective insulation, known as myelin, that surrounds nerve fibres. The breakdown of myelin impedes the electrical signals transmitted between neurons, leading to a range of symptoms, including numbness or weakness, vision loss, tremors, dizziness and fatigue.

Alexander Rauscher, an assistant professor of radiology, and graduate student Vanessa Wiggermann in the UBC MRI Research Centre, analyzed the frequency of MRI brain scans. With Dr. Anthony Traboulsee, an associate professor of neurology and director of the UBC Hospital MS Clinic, they applied their method to 20 MS patients, who were scanned once a month for six months using both conventional MRI and the new frequency-based method.

Once scars in the myelin, known as lesions, appeared in conventional MRI scans, Rauscher and his colleagues went back to earlier frequency-based images of those patients. Looking in the precise areas of those lesions, they found frequency changes -- indicating tissue damage -- at least two months before any sign of damage appeared on conventional scans. The results were published in the June 12 issue of Neurology.

They found frequency changes at least two months before any sign of damage appeared on conventional scans.

"This technique teases out the subtle differences in the development of MS lesions over time," Rauscher says. "Because this technique is more sensitive to those changes, researchers could use much smaller studies to determine whether a treatment -- such as a new drug -- is slowing or even stopping the myelin breakdown."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. V. Wiggermann, E. Hernandez Torres, I. M. Vavasour, G. R. W. Moore, C. Laule, A. L. MacKay, D. K. B. Li, A. Traboulsee, A. Rauscher. Magnetic resonance frequency shifts during acute MS lesion formation. Neurology, 2013; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31829bfd63

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "New imaging technique holds promise for speeding MS research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612162356.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2013, June 12). New imaging technique holds promise for speeding MS research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612162356.htm
University of British Columbia. "New imaging technique holds promise for speeding MS research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612162356.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins