Investigator: Victor Song, PhD (WUSTL Radiology)
Co-investigator: Anne Cross, MD (WUSTL 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.
Department of Defense Idea Award (PI, Victor Song): “Noninvasive detection and differentiation of axonal injury/loss, demyelination, and inflammation in MS”