Our Mission

 

The research hypothesis of CONNECT is that combination of macro- and micro-structural tissue parameters (as extracted from diffusion MRI) can be used for comprehensive and quantitative analysis of brain morphology and connectivity

Specific Aims

To investigate, develop and validate the measurement of brain microstructure and connectivity with diffusion MRI.
To produce the most comprehensive and accurate assessment of brain macro-structure and micro-structure in vivo to date.
To develop an acquisition and analysis framework that will enable the extraction of a multitude of micro-structural parameters.
To use micro-structural parameters to constrain probabilistic tractography and provide a reliable and accurate assessment of brain connectivity.
To determine the optimal way of measuring tissue microstructure in vivo using diffusion MRI.
To characterize the reliability of in-vivo microstructural measurements.
To exploit microstructure parameters to improve measures of connectivity.
To map basic microstructure parameters over the normal human brain in-vivo.
To construct probabilistic atlases of connectivity and microstructure in the normal brain

 

Work Packages

 

WP1 – Comparative study of existing advanced diffusion MRI acquisition and analysis frameworks
Group managers: Chris Clark and Thomas Knoesche

The aim of this WP is to define on the same samples the current status of the different tractography and microstructure procedure available in tissues preparations, animals and human subjects. more ...

WP2 – Development of comprehensive diffusion MRI acquisition and analysis frameworks
Group managers: Geoff Parker

In this WP we will develop and implement an analysis framework for comprehensive assessment both of tractography and microstructural parameters. more ...

WP3 – Optimization of acquisition and analysis routines
Group managers: Tim Behrens

This step of the study will optimize the acquisition and analysis routines. This step is critical in order to provide a robust, clinically acceptable acquisition protocol. In addition we will identify which of the parameters studied in WP1 and WP2 are the most crucial which will help define the minimal acquisition scheme that should be used. more ...

WP4 – Validation of extracted microstructural and connectivity parameters
Group managers: Tim Dyrby

This step of the research will validate the results of the comprehensive framework. This will be done by comparison with histology and cross validation with several analysis routines. more ...

WP5 – Implementation of the new framework for clinical use
Group managers: Yaniv Assaf

In this WP we will adapt the paradigm we develop to be applicable for clinical use. The main contribution of this WP is a clinically acceptable protocol that will be in line with the aforementioned methodologies and analysis routines. more ....

WP6 – Application of the new methodology for assessment of normal brain connectivity, brain development, neurodegeneration and neurosurgical planning
Group managers: Petra Huppi and Alberto Bizzi

In this WP we will use the methodology developed in WP1-5 to study different aspect of brain anatomy. more ...

 

Deliverables

 

 Deliverable  no.  Deliverable name  Delivery  date
 7.1  Project Website  2
 1.1  Summary of comparative study  6
 2.1  Description of comprehensive analysis  14
 2.2  Development of new acquisition schemes  14
 7.2  Periodic Report  14
 3.1  An optimized comprehensive diffusion MRI protocol  20
 4.1  Summary of validation analysis  24
 5.1  Clinical setup optimization  34
 5.2  Connectivity and microstructure software  34
 6.1  Brain Atlas  34
 6.2  Application in disease  34
 8.1  Public Dissemination  34
 8.2  Final plan for the use and dissemination of Foreground  34
 8.3  Report on awareness and wider societal implications  34
 7.3  Final Report  34