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Magnetic Resonance Physics of Aging and Dementia (MRPAD) Unit

Mustapha Bouhrara, Ph.D., Chief

The overall mission of the Magnetic Resonance Physics of Aging and Dementia (MRPAD) Unit is to develop sensitive and specific magnetic resonance neuroimaging biomarkers to study brain aging, assist with early diagnosis of neurodegeneration, characterize the rate of disease progression, and facilitate development of therapeutics. The MRPAD Unit program incorporates additional metabolic, functional and genetic endpoints from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging (BLSA), the Genetic and Epigenetic Signatures of Translational Aging Laboratory Testing (GESTALT), and the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study to understand the impact of reversible and nonreversible risk factors on cerebral function and structure.

Portfolio/Research Areas

Normally, Research areas of the Unit are listed in bulleted fashion here:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Magnetic resonance physics
  • Neuroimaging
  • Signal processing
  • Machine learning
  • Aging
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Dementia

Findings and Publications

Bouhrara M, Spencer RG. Improved determination of the myelin water fraction in human brain using magnetic resonance imaging through Bayesian analysis of mcDESPOT. Neuroimage. 2016 Feb 15;127:456-471. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.10.034. Epub 2015 Oct 22. PMID: 26499810; PMCID: PMC4854306.

Bouhrara M, Reiter DA, Bergeron CM, Zukley LM, Ferrucci L, Resnick SM, Spencer RG. Evidence of demyelination in mild cognitive impairment and dementia using a direct and specific magnetic resonance imaging measure of myelin content. Alzheimers Dement. 2018 Aug;14(8):998-1004. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2018.03.007. Epub 2018 Apr 19. PMID: 29679574; PMCID: PMC6097903.

Khattar N, Triebswetter C, Kiely M, Ferrucci L, Resnick SM, Spencer RG, Bouhrara M. Investigation of the association between cerebral iron content and myelin content in normative aging using quantitative magnetic resonance neuroimaging. Neuroimage. 2021 Oct 1;239:118267. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118267. Epub 2021 Jun 15. PMID: 34139358; PMCID: PMC8370037.

Triebswetter C, Kiely M, Khattar N, Ferrucci L, Resnick SM, Spencer RG, Bouhrara M. Differential associations between apolipoprotein E alleles and cerebral myelin content in normative aging. Neuroimage. 2022 May 1;251:118988. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.118988. Epub 2022 Feb 9. PMID: 35150834; PMCID: PMC8940662.

Bouhrara M, Alisch JSR, Khattar N, Kim RW, Rejimon AC, Cortina LE, Qian W, Ferrucci L, Resnick SM, Spencer RG. Association of cerebral blood flow with myelin content in cognitively unimpaired adults. BMJ Neurol Open. 2020 Jul 1;2(1):e000053. doi: 10.1136/bmjno-2020-000053. PMID: 33681786; PMCID: PMC7903181.

Qian W, Khattar N, Cortina LE, Spencer RG, Bouhrara M. Nonlinear associations of neurite density and myelin content with age revealed using multicomponent diffusion and relaxometry magnetic resonance imaging. Neuroimage. 2020 Dec;223:117369. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117369. Epub 2020 Sep 12. PMID: 32931942; PMCID: PMC7775614.

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