• What is OCEAN?

    ONE-STOP-SHOP MICROSTRUCTURE-SENSITIVE PERFUSION/DIFFUSION MRI: APPLICATION TO VASCULAR COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT (OCEAN)  is a project funded by EPSRC that aims to characterise and quantify early differential alterations in brain blood transport and subsequent microstructural tissue damage using one-stop-shop perfusion/diffusion Magnetic Resonance (MR) Gradient Sensitised Imaging (GSI) incorporating novel MR signal models and optimal MR sequence design based on new human brain histomorphometric data in health and disease.

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  • Why is Dementia Research Important?

    The disease is a major socio-economic challenge with care costs approaching 1% of global GDP (WHO Report 2012). The number of individuals suffering from dementia today is roughly 36 million and, due to ageing societies, will increase to 115 million by 2050.

    The annual costs are estimated to be €55B in Europe and €450B worldwide (1% of the World Gross Domestic Product). In 2012, the WHO declared dementia a global health priority, highlighting the urgent need for improvements in this area. 

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  • How will we achieve this?

    MR GSI will be developed as a one-stop-shop approach that sees p/d as two extremes of the same phenomenon. This is exploited in the context of Vascular Cognitive Impairment (VCI) where we propose the novel concept of associating the two regimes to different stages of the condition. We will develop ultra-detailed models of myelinated axon fibres and neuroglia, and of white matter (WM) microcirculation in normal and VCI-affected brains. 

    We will progress the state of the art in IVIM by developing an integrated approach with diffusion dMRI.

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  • What is the expected impact?

    Dementia already is one of society’s biggest medical challenges. No cures are so far available. It is in the provision of differential and early diagnosis that the technologies developed within OCEAN can have a serious impact. The expected impact of the project will influence the scientific, clinical and industrial communities to improve the healthcare of dementia patients.

    This will both improve patients’ quality of life, and also reduce the burden on carers and the costs of supporting people with dementia.

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Develop the most comprehensive statistical computational models of tissue blocks of WM microstructure and microcirculation to date based on novel human brain histomorphometric data in health and disease state

Deliver the most detailed signal models to date of simultaneous d- and p-weighted MR Gradient Sensitised Imaging (GSI) and robust and consistent estimators to optimally identify these model parameters

Design a set of optimal gradient-sensitising directions and pulse sequence that harmonise constraints on optimal sensing and hardware demands enabling use across the widest range of clinical MR scanners

Develop tissue biomimetic brain phantoms based on polymer materials with dimensions, p and barrier permeabilities in the range of axons in WM serving as gold-standard for both p/d MRI

Demonstrate the accuracy of the proposed technique in high-resolution imaging of brain tissue blocks and biomimetic brain phantoms; demonstrate feasibility and clinical potential in a small patient cohort



Diffusion UK Meeting - November 2015

On the 05/11/2015 CISTIB hosted and ran a meeting of the Diffusion MRI UK Group (www.diffusion-mri.org.uk). Alongside this in the morning the scientific committee of the new research project OCEAN (www.ocean-mri.org) which is being led by CISTIB met with many of the attendees took part in the Diffusion MRI UK meeting in the afternoon. This meeting drew together researchers from the field of Diffusion MRI this included academics and PhD students from different institutes. The day included poster and talks given by both senior academics and...

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