Lifespan maturation and degeneration of human brain white matter


Aviv Mezer

(Stanford University)

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Date: October 2, 2014


Understanding human brain structure and function organization in health, disease and development is one of the great challenges for neuroscience. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the most valuable technique for noninvasive in vivo imaging of human brain. However, the use of MRI is currently limited, due to the lack of theory that links the specific biological structures to the measured signal. In my presentation I will describe a new quantitative MRI (qMRI) method that directly measures the biophysical properties of the human brain tissue such as the macromolecular tissue volume and the macromolecular physico-chemical environment. I will discuss how such quantities can be used for 1) individualized diagnostic applications and 2) testing hypotheses of the principles underlying lifespan changes in white matter structure. The quantitative measurements and models of the living human brain offer a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between cognitive, systems and cellular neuroscience. Such understanding of how different tissue types develop and degenerate could be crucial to the early diagnosis and treatment of developmental and degenerative disorders.

Created: Friday, October 3rd, 2014