“Estimating Brain Biomechanics Using MRI”
Objective: In this study we will develop and apply imaging techniques to perform the first three-dimensional (3-D) measurements of brain biomechanics during mild head movement in healthy human subjects. Biomechanics is the application of mechanics, or the physical principles in action when force is applied to an object, to the anatomical structure and/or function of organisms. Such techniques will be invaluable for building computational models of brain biomechanics, understanding variability of brain biomechanics across individual characteristics, such as age and sex, and determining brain sub-structures at risk for damage when movement of the head is accelerated, such as during a traumatic event. Study Population: Measurements will be performed on 90 healthy men and women aged 18-50. Design: We will build upon the model pioneered by our collaborator, Dr. Philip Bayly. The model places a human subject in a magnetic resonance (MR) scanner with one of two head support units that allows a specific range of motion. Each head support is latched such that it can be released by the subject, and results in either a rotation of the head of approximately 30 degrees or a flexion-extension of the head of approximately 4 degrees. Although both supports are weighted so that the motion is repeatable if the subject is relaxed, the subject can easily counteract the weight. The resulting acceleration/deceleration is small (in the range of normal activities, such as turning one's head during swimming) and has been validated and used in other human investigations of brain biomechanics. The subject repeats the motion multiple times during the MR scan under their own volition and desired pace to measure motion of the head and brain. Outcome measures: This project is a pilot study evaluating the potential of extracting three-dimensional estimates of brain deformation, such as strain measurements, using MR imaging. A primary outcome of this project will be a fast MR acquisition sequence for measuring 3-D brain deformation. The sequence will be evaluated by applying the protocol to human subjects, followed by preliminary quantification of the reproducibility and stability of deformation measurements.
Methods have not been listed for this study. If you require more information about the methods of this study, please inquire with the researcher.
Estimation of Brain Biomechanics Using MRI