Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Magnetic Resonance Microimaging of Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most frequent neurodegenerative disorder and the primary cause of dementia. The neuropathological features of AD include the occurrence of senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, decreased synaptic density, and loss of neurons. An obstacle in the study and treatment of Alzheimer's disease lies in the inability to definitively diagnose a patient. The development of a non-invasive method to detect early, subtle changes in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease can greatly improve early diagnosis and accurate clinical evaluation of AD.

Alia Alia

In my group we are developing non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (μMRI) methods to visualize amyloid plaque development in vivo in transgenic mouse models of AD at ultra high magnetic fields (7T, 9.4T and 17.6T). In addition, cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) related blood flow defects are being examined using magnetic resonance angiography. For understanding the mechanism of AD progression, we are getting direct access to the in vivo metabolic profile with very high selectivity and resolution using localized version of two dimensional magnetic resonance spectroscopy (L-COSY, J-PRESS), which we recently developed for accessing the chemistry of the live mouse brain. Within the network of collaboration between the Paul Flechsig Institute for brain research, the Institute for Medical Physics and Biophysics at Leipzig University and the University of Leiden (The Netherlands), we are particularly interested in: (1) dissecting the underlying mechanism for gender related differences in AD progression and (2) understanding the role of altered biological clock in Alzheimer's disease.


  • Prof. Dr. S. Roßner, Prof. Dr. T. Arendt, Prof. Dr. R. Schliebs, Paul-Flechsig-Institute for Brain Research, Leipzig University
  • Dr. M.A. Thomas, University of California, Los Angeles, California
  • Prof. Dr. M.A. van Buchem, Leiden University
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