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Translational Imaging Laboratory

The creative use of neuroimaging and other techniques is helping McLean scientists better diagnose and develop new treatments for a range of conditions including:

  • Substance use disorders
  • Neuropsychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia, major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

This lab undertakes pre-clinical, clinical, and translational studies. Our researchers use innovative neuroimaging techniques to investigate the structure, function, and metabolism of the brain. We interpret brain images in the context of additional behavioral and histological (tissue structure) assessments.

Our techniques include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional MRI (fMRI), and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). McLean Hospital has an ultra high magnetic field (9.4 Tesla) scanner and 3.0 and 4.0 Tesla systems.

Recent projects include a study of mice that develop compulsive grooming behavior thought to model aspects of human obsessive compulsive and related disorders. Using a form of chemical imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we found abnormal brain metabolism and oxidative stress, which parallels findings in humans with compulsive behavior disorders. This work holds promise for enabling earlier diagnosis and treatment of compulsive behavior disorders.

The Translational Imaging Laboratory was founded in 2004.

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