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MCL 2558.0: Improving Inter-Subject Coherence in DT-MRI

Nicholas Lange, Sc.D.

Background and Description

Diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DT-MRI) is an important technique in modern brain imaging, that enables the identification and mapping of major fiber bundles within the brain. The brain includes gray matter connected by channels of white matter, composed of the fiber bundles, and the diffusion of water along these white matter tracks allows them to be identified by DT-MRI. Such brain tractography enables construction of normative maps of fully functional brains and the detection of circuitry differences between functional and dysfunctional brains. To reduce the likelihood that anomalies in a single subject skew the results, DT-MRI is beginning to involve larger numbers of subjects. Although data are often averaged across all subjects, insufficient treatment of subject-to-subject variations causes an unnecessarily high level of apparent subject-to-subject incoherence at the voxel level.

Potential Commercial Uses

The invention comprises a system and a method (i.e., an algorithm) for processing DT-MRI data to greatly reduce the effects of unmeasured and unspecified variations when estimating aggregate diffusion tensor directions over multiple subjects. The method is expected to lead to substantial improvements in the performance of DT-MRI, making it a much more useful technique for both research and clinical uses. Improved ability to identify and define brain circuitry patterns in both healthy and ill individuals will yield a better understanding of the factors that contribute to anomalous development and thus may lead to more effective preventative measures and treatments. The software embodying the invention can be incorporated via retrofitting existing MRI equipment, or can be sold as a standalone software product.

Publication and Patent Status

McLean Hospital is the owner of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,268,551 and 7,570,049 claiming this invention. (USPTO # 7,268,551 and 7,570,049)

Licenses Available

McLean Hospital is prepared to license this technology either exclusively or nonexclusively.

For more information, please contact:

Anne Ritter, Licensing Manager
Partners Research Ventures and Licensing
(617) 954-9529