The combination of ex-vivo MRI and neuropathology of human brain tissue can enhance investigation of the neuropathological correlates of brain abnormalities and assist in the development of biomarkers of various age-related neuropathologies. Ex-vivo MRI provides images at essentially the same time as histological examination of the tissue, ensuring that no additional pathology develops between imaging and histology. Furthermore, ex-vivo MRI allows imaging independent of frailty level. We have developed a unique large, longitudinal, clinical, pathologic, ex-vivo MRI database including data from community-dwelling older adults. Through these studies we have revealed novel MRI signatures of various age-related neuropathologies.

  • We have mapped the effects of Alzheimer's pathology and hippocampal sclerosis on the shape of the hippocampus, and demonstrated for the first time that hippocampal atrophy is more substantial in hippocampal sclerosis than Alzheimer's.
  • We have generated the signatures of Alzheimer's and hippocampal sclerosis on regional brain volumes, and showed for the first time that hippocampal sclerosis is associated with atrophy not only in temporal lobe regions in the vicinity of the hippocampus, but also in frontal lobe regions with strong connections to the hippocampus.
  • We have shown that regional volumes in the temporal lobe, as well as T2 values in temporal and frontal lobe regions explain a substantial portion of the variance in cognition above and beyond what is explained by demographics and neuropathologies.
  • We have generated the signatures of Alzheimer's pathology, hippocampal sclerosis and gross infarcts on T2 constants.
Also see our research on: Translational Ex-Vivo MRI

Selected Related Publications

  • Dawe RJ, Bennett DA, Schneider JA, Arfanakis K. Neuropathologic correlates of hippocampal atrophy in the elderly: a clinical, pathologic, postmortem MRI study. PLoS One 2011;6:e26286.
  • Dawe RJ, Bennett DA, Schneider JA, Leurgans SE, Kotrotsou A, Boyle PA, Arfanakis K. Ex vivo T2 relaxation: associations with age-related neuropathology and cognition. Neurobiol Aging 2014;35:1549-1561.
  • Kotrotsou A, Schneider JA, Bennett DA, Leurgans SE, Dawe RJ, Boyle PA, Golak T, Arfanakis K. Neuropathologic correlates of regional brain volumes in a community cohort of older adults. Neurobiol Aging 2015;36:2798-2805.
AD path MR volumetry signature
Hipp. scler. volumetry signature
Alzheimer's path T2 signature
AD and hipp. scler. on hippocampus