Noninvasive white matter histology of living EAE mice

2011 Pilot Project Read More


Investigator: Victor Song(WashU Radiology)
Co-investigator: Anne Cross (WashU Neurology)


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is common, affecting about 0.1% of the US population. It is not feasible to correctly assess the underlying tissue damages or predict the variable course of the disease at present time. Current anti-inflammatory treatments of MS follow a standard dosing regimen. The lack of an effective diagnosis significantly limits the opportunity to adjust the treatment plan according to individual patient responses. By quantitatively distinguishing and tracking inflammation, as well as axon and myelin injury, the proposed diffusion basis spectrum imaging (DBSI) will provide the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment in real time.  The goal of the proposed study is to establish a neuroimaging method that can accurately diagnose the extent of neuronal tissue damage in MS. A mouse model of MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, will be employed to test DBSI in detecting tissue damage. The success of this study may offer a rare opportunity to improve patient care allowing the modification of the treatment according to individual patient response.

Grants and Awards

“Noninvasive detection and differentiation of axonal injury/loss, demyelination, and inflammation in MS”
Department of Defense Idea Award (PI, Song)

“Noninvasively distinguishing inflammation from tissue injury in optic neuritis”
NIH/NINDS 1R21NS090910-01 (PI, Naismith; MPI, Song)     9/30/14 – 8/31/17

“Understanding the pathophysiology underlying MS progression”
National Multiple Sclerosis Society RG 5258-A-5  (PI, Song)     10/1/14 – 9/30/17

“Biomarkers and Pathogenesis of MS: From Mouse to Human”
NIH/NINDS 2P01NS059560-06A1 (PI, Cross)     7/1/14 – 6/30/19

“Imaging optic nerve function and pathology”
NIH/NEI 1U01EY025500-01 (NEI Audacious Goal Initiative) (PI, Song)     5/1/15 – 4/30/20

“Predictive Value of Diffusion MRI in Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy”
NIH/NINDS 2 R01 NS047592-10 (Co-PIs, Song and Ray)

Updated July 2017

Hope Center Investigators

Victor Song

Anne Cross


This pilot project is made possible by the Danforth Foundation Challenge.

Danforth Challenge