The Erwin L. Hahn Institute for MRI is home to a broad range of externally funded projects that reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the institute.
The project (F02) is part of the Collaborative Research Center CRC 1280 „Extinction learning“ (SFB Initiative, 2. Funding period; speaker: O. Güntürkün, Bochum, co-speaker: D. Timmann, Essen). Metaanalyses of resting state and DTI data acquired at 3T and 7T by projects in the CRC will be performed. One focus will be on the cerebellum.
The project (A03) is part of the Collaborative Research Center CRC 1280 „Extinction learning“ (SFB Initiative, 2. Funding period; speaker: O. Güntürkün, Bochum, co-speaker: D. Timmann, Essen). They study how progress in fear extinction alters functional fMRI connectivity within the extinction network.
The project (A02) is part of the Collaborative Research Center CRC 1280 „Extinction learning“ (SFB Initiative, 2. Funding period; speaker: O. Güntürkün, Bochum, co-speaker: D. Timmann, Essen). They investigate how context generalization is controlled by neural activity in core regions of the extinction network.
The project (A05) is part of the Collaborative Research Center CRC 1280 „Extinction learning“ (SFB Initiative, 2. Funding period; speaker: O. Güntürkün, Bochum, co-speaker: D. Timmann, Essen). They study the contribution of the cerebellum to extinction learning in humans using 7T fMRI.
The researchers and clinicians involved in "Treatment Expectation" (Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio 289) aim to unlock the neurobiological and psychological mechanisms behind treatment expectation effects, understand differences between individual patients and examine how the results can be applied to everyday clinical practice.
The aim of the research unit is to contribute to a better understanding of the fundamental affective and cognitive mechanisms, which are involved in the development and the maintenance of predominantly online addictive behaviors, namely pathological gaming, pornography use, buying-shopping, and social-networks use.
This consortium brings together researchers from across Europe and will address the contribution of the cerebellum in the control of emotions, and in particular fear and anxiety. D. Timmann's group is one of seven European sites.
The goal of MITI, coordinated by the University Medical Center Utrecht, is to broaden and mature the metabolic imaging technology towards commercialisation as well as to validate the technology in several clinical use cases: liver metastases, lung tumours, (drug discovery in) heart disease, and muscle disorders via the expert university hospitals.
The "Experimental Neurology" research group of Prof. Dr. Dagmar Timmann is one of the recruiting centers for an international research project on ultra-high-field MRI. The project "Spinocerebellar ataxias: Advanced imaging with ultra-high field MRI (SCAIFIELD)", coordinated by Prof. Tony Stöcker at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn, is funded by the "EU Joint Program - Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND)". The aim of SCAIFIELD is to perform advanced brain imaging with ultra-high field MRI in patients with spinocerebellar ataxias (SCA).
The overarching aim of our project is to provide evidence that the human cerebellum contributes to reinforcement learning via its connections with the ventral tegmental area. High-resolution functional MRI acquired at 7T will be used to perform studies at the level of the cerebellar cortex, cerebellar nuclei and the ventral tegmental area.
In this project long-term pre-clinical data will be collected in a rat model; and 7T MRI with a dual-tuned 19F/1H rodent RF coil will be used to detect Perfluorocarbon-based albumin signals in the body and organs of the rats.
THINK@Ruhr is a research alliance of scientists from the UDE and RUB connecting research areas from neuroscience, through psychology, through philosophy of mind and cognition. Jointly, they aim to uncover principles of future-oriented cognition, their neural and psychological mechanisms, their philosophical implications, and their dysfunctions in neurological or psychiatric diseases.
In this project measurement methods to advance laminar - i.e. cell layer-specific - imaging of the hippocampus are to be developed. The goal is to map the neuronal processes in the human hippocampus and their importance for memory and navigation.
Using high-resolution fMRI, neuronal effects of the dopamine drugs methylphenidate and sulpiride will be measured on a submillimetre scale in the cortical layers to better understand how dopamine affects the working memory and to decipher the mechanisms what information from the working memory guides action and attention.
Dr. Koopmans proposal focuses on the development of a high resolution fMRI technique to improve understanding of how the brain processes pain.
Social Media constitute complex sociotechnical systems, encompassing potentially very large user groups, and exhibiting features such as user-generated content, social interaction and awareness, and emergent functionality The Research Training Group addresses the need of analyzing and understanding the characteristics and determinants of the behavior of Social Media users.
This project is part of the DFG Research Unit “Extinction Learning: Neural Mechanisms, Behavioral Manifestations and Clinical Implications” (FOR 1581) (second funding period). There is very good evidence that the cerebellum contributes to the acquisition of new associations. Comparatively little is known about the role of the cerebellum in extinction learning and related processes, particularly in humans. Experiments are performed which make use of recent methodological advances in lesion-symptom mapping in cerebellar patients and in ultra-highfield (7 Tesla) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for performing functional MRI of both the cerebellar cortex and nuclei.
Project (F02) as part of a Collaborative Research Center 1280 (1. Funding period; speaker: O. Güntürkün, Bochum, co-speaker: D. Timmann, Essen) on “Extinction learning”. This focus group capitalizes on the various SFB subprojects using neuroimaging (including 7T fMRI), which will be extended to include brief resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) sequences. Hypothesis-driven analyses will focus on different measures of connectivity between a limited number of relevant areas of the extinction network across studies. In addition, the focus group will optimize and homogenize scanning sequences and data analysis pipelines. State-of-the-art analysis procedures will be made accessible to all neuroimaging subprojects.
Project (A05) as part of a Collaborative Research Center 1280 (1. Funding period; speaker: O. Güntürkün, Bochum, co-speaker: D. Timmann, Essen) on “Extinction learning”. The cerebellum has largely been ignored as potential part of the neural circuitry involved in extinction of conditioned fear. Most studies focused on the intrinsic cerebellar mechanisms involved in extinction of conditioned eyeblink responses. Little is known about additional cerebello-cerebral interactions. This project aims at a better understanding of the intrinsic cerebellar mechanisms and cerebello-cerebral interactions related to extinction of conditioned fear. 7T MRI is used to perform fMRI at the level of the cerebellar nuclei (that is, fastigial nuclei). The application of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) will be established in the 7T MR system. Modulation of cerebellar output by non-invasive brain stimulation and by cerebellar dependent motor learning may offer a new approach in the treatment of anxiety disorders in the future.
Aim of this project is to create and promote a nationwide network of UHF MRI sites. This network facilitates communication between all UHF MRI locations in Germany, advances joint research, and facilitates standardization and coordination/organization of access to UHF MRI systems for scientists.
The aim of this collaboration project between the two partners from the University Clinic Essen and the Jena University Hospital is to obtain deeper insight into the pathoanatomy of cerebellar nuclei in common forms of degenerative ataxias by using novel MRI techniques, including quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM). The benefit of MRI imaging at 7T compared to 3T is investigated in patients with Friedreich ataxia and spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6). Quantification of volume and iron content by QSM of cerebellar nuclei will be used as new approach for assessing disease progression and/or severity.
In this DFG-funded project, new transmit/receiver RF coils for UHF brain and body MRI using electronic band gap structures (EBG) are developed and evaluated. The evaluation will be performed on phantoms and in volunteers.
Pathological buying is characterized by recurrent, senseless buying behaviors which are associated to severe negative social, financial and psychic problems. The development and maintenance of excessive behaviors is currently explained by craving reactions. In the current project neural correlates of craving will be assessed in individuals with pathological buying with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and should contribute to a better understanding for the development and maintenance of the disorder.
We propose to develop and implement optimized experimental schemes for MRI experiments that modulate the interaction between the nuclear spins and their environment such that the information content of the resulting images is maximized. Depending on the specific diagnostic requirements, it can be optimized to either (i) optimally suppress decoherence (noise) effects in structured media characteristic of living tissue; (ii) optimally measure and analyze the noise spectra, and extract diagnostic information from the noise. We expect that such optimally designed field modulation schemes will result in substantial improvements in signal-to-noise ratios and/or generate images that provide more direct information, e.g. on molecular diffusion processes in the tissues. To test aspects that are specific to whole-body imaging systems, we will implement the experiments on the 7 Tesla MRI scanner at the ELH.
The new MAGNETOM Terra 7 Tesla MRI System was financed through this grant.
Multi-parametric MRI (mpMRI) of the prostate offers new possibilities for detection, localization and characterization of prostate cancer. Experimentally as well as (pre-)clinical, there are several opportunities to improve upon the current state of techniques. By implementing and using the state of the art possibilities in MRI techniques in the clinic as well as experimentally, on a 7 Tesla high magnetic field MRI scanner, sensitivity and specificity of mpMRI in differentiating between cancerous and non cancerous tissue can be improved upon significantly. mpMRI can then effectively be used to reliably guide biopsies, planning of treatments and following up patients under active surveillance.
This grant focuses on the development of metabolic imaging for robotic MR guided interventions.
The goal of the project is to develop a highly optimized 32-channel transmit/receive RF coil for body MRI at 7T. This coil will be integrated into the space between the gradient coil and the bore liner similar to body coils in clinical scanners. The coil will be used to exploit and manipulate the complex RF field patterns at 7T using parallel transmission approaches. We expect that success of the project will greatly enhance the flexibility of RF manipulation and have ground-breaking impact on the diagnosis and characterization of manifold disease processes in the human torso.
The primary goal of this project is to examine ways of improving cognitive deficits, particularly in episodic memory performance, in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes (T2DM). The emphasis is on the benefits of physical exercise for the cognitive abilities of patients with T2DM. To this end we have setup an interventional study with the German Diabetes Centre in Düsseldorf. In this we are examining patients using GABA spectroscopy and fMRI, with T2DM before and after a course of physical training, alongside matched control subjects. This collaboration leads to sharing of infrastructure namely the 7T scanner in Essen, the 3T system in Düsseldorf and the advanced screening and characterisation of patients in Düsseldorf.
The primary aim of the Ultra High field Magnetic Resonance (HiMR) Initial Training Network is to train the future leaders of academic and industrial research in the fundamental science and novel applications of ultra-high field in vivo magnetic resonance.
Various clinical researchers received 12-months of intramural funding of the Medical Faculty, UDE (IFORES), to conduct defined clinical research projects using 7T MRI at ELH. All IFORES projects reflect efforts and advances to assess and employ the inherent high signal-to-noise ratio and the excellent soft-tissue contrast of 7T MRI to improve spatial resolution and image contrast in selected clinical MR imaging applications. Key motivation in this context is to explore potentially relevant clinical applications in high-field brain and body MRI. In the years 2011-2017 altogether 13 stipendiaries have conducted clinical UHF projects at the ELH.
This ambitious project will examine the interaction between temporal cortex and Broca's area during language comprehension using event-related fMRI at 7T. For each area data will be acquired at sufficient spatial resolution to measure the fMRI signal as a function of cortical depth. This will allow us to interrogate feed-forward and feedback connections between regions.
In this grant the assessment of the aggressiveness of localized prostate cancer is correlated and validated with early detection of the first metastases of the disease.
The Radboudumc is in the unique position to administer Ferumoxtran-10 to patients suspicious of having lymph node metastases. In this project the highest sensitivity of 7T to detect in vivo small lymph node metastases will be validated with histopathology of resected tissues in patients with rectal cancer.
This cooperation agreement encompasses sequence and 7T MRI application development as well as ELH-provided feedback of clinical experience using the pTX Array step 2. Furthermore, methodological development of simultaneous multislice (SMS) brain imaging and the preparation of clinical UHF brain and body MRI cases are parts of this agreement.
Usage of the 7T -MRI, technical equipment and the conference room for trainings of physicians and technical operating personnel from other Siemens customers.