Principal Investigator: Ravinder Reddy, Ph.D.
The purpose of this project is to develop T1p MRI techniques as a means for early disease detection and to validate models for T1p relaxation in biological tissues. Early detection of molecular disease is critical for preventing disease progression and reversing the course of the disease when the cost of treatment is low and treatment success rate is much higher. This project focuses on the early detection of molecular changes in pathologies such as arthritis, intervertebral degenerative disc disease (DDD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and cancer by T1p MRI. We have previously shown that T1p mapping enables the quantification of early biochemical changes in articular cartilage and intervertebral discs. In both these disease models, T1p correlates strongly with the proteoglycan content of the tissue. Subsequently, T1p relaxation mapping studies have been performed on both asymptomatic and symptomatic human subjects and in animal models. In addition, we have been encouraged by recent studies showing increased T1p in AD patients’ brain compared to age-matched controls’ brain.