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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
  • Other 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 included a study of Doberman Pinschers, a breed prone to the canine equivalent of human OCD. Neuroimaging revealed abnormalities in the brain regions associated with rehearsed tasks—comparable to findings in humans who have OCD. This work holds promise for enabling the earlier diagnosis and treatment of compulsive behavior disorders in both animals and humans.

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