Clinical PET/MRI Work Package 3:

Early and late onset cognitive impairment

Cognitive and memory problems can be a sign of dementia, but can for instance also be part of a depression or due to a brain tumor. Alzheimer´s disease, the cause of most dementia cases, is associated with abnormal precipitations in the brain which interferes with brain function and leads to neuronal death. These precipitations can only be visualized using different types of PET scanning of the brain. PET scanning of the brain in patients with cognitive or memory complaints could therefore provide both an accurate cause of the memory problems and information on the severity of the Alzheimer´s disease changes. Although MRI scans of the brain cannot diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, it can provide very important information on brain health not captured with PET scanning such as type and distribution of macro- and microvascular disease in the brain, amount of tissue loss, presence of tumors etc. By combining PET-MRI scanning of the brain it is possible to uncover important complementary information on brain health.

In this project we will use different PET methods and comprehensive MRI scanning of the brain to evaluate which of these different methods or combination of these methods, that best predicts future cognitive outcome and separates Alzheimer’s disease from other causes of cognitive and memory problems.

Asta Håberg

Principal Investigator

Geir Bråthen

Principal Investigator

Work package 1:

1 in 8 men will have prostate cancer in their lives. Molecular imaging may offer huge benefits in all stages of the diagnostic work-up, and PET imaging using the tracer prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) has shown promising results. This WP aims to establish nation-wide protocols for PSMA-PET (in combination with hybrid MRI or CT)…

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Work package 2:

MRI is used in clinical routine for diagnosing brain tumors, but has limitations in identifying tumor grade, true tumor extension and differentiating viable tumor tissue from treatment induced changes and recurrences. Many brain tumors express increased levels of amino acid transport, which can be imaged with a PET scanner using amino acid radiotracers. Using both…

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Work package 3:

Cognitive and memory problems can be a sign of dementia, but can for instance also be part of a depression or due to a brain tumor. Alzheimer´s disease, the cause of most dementia cases, is associated with abnormal precipitations in the brain which interferes with brain function and leads to neuronal death. These precipitations can…

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Work package 4:

In WP4 we will establish the clinical workflow for PET- and MRI-based radiotherapy. We will acquire PET and MR images prior to and during radiotherapy and develop new concepts for image-based biologically adaptive radiotherapy, both based on state-of-the-art photon-based radiotherapy and also proton therapy, which soon will be available for cancer patients in Norway. Our…

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Work package 5:

In the machine learning work package, we aim to develop and validate new methods that exploit the quantitative nature of the PET and MR images. We will develop a pipeline for pre-processing and quality assurance of the acquired images, as well as a toolbox with machine learning algorithms focusing on region classification and detection of…

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