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New super-resolution technology enables more detailed brain imaging

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Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

New imaging technologies have the potential to detect neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage, allowing doctors to diagnose and treat patients more quickly. An imaging technique called super-resolution combines positron emission tomography (PET) with an external motion tracking device to create a very detailed image of the brain. This study was presented at the 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

In brain PET imaging, image quality is often limited by unwanted movements of the patient during scanning. In this study, researchers used super-resolution to take advantage of the subject’s normally undesirable head movements to improve the resolution of brain PET.

Experiments with moving phantoms and non-human primates were performed with PET scanners in combination with external motion tracking devices that continuously measure head movements with extremely high accuracy. Acquisition of static reference PET was also performed without inducing movement. After combining the data from the imaging device, researchers recovered PET images with significantly higher resolution than those achieved with static reference scans.

“This study shows that PET images can be obtained at resolutions that exceed the resolution of scanners, perhaps by taking advantage of unwanted patient movements,” said a candidate for the Gordon Medical Imaging Center in Boston. Said Dr. Yanis Chemli. ,Massachusetts. “Our technology not only compensates for the negative effects of head movement on PET image quality, but also increases the sampling information associated with imaging moving targets to improve effective PET resolution.”

This super-resolution technique has only been tested in preclinical studies, but researchers are currently working on extending it to human subjects. Looking to the future, Chemli looked at the important effects that super-resolution can have on brain disorders, especially Alzheimer’s disease. “A hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease is the presence of tau protein tangles. These tangles accumulate in very small areas of the brain very early in Alzheimer’s disease, sometimes decades before symptoms. If we can better image these small structures in the brain, we will be able to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease earlier and possibly treat it in the future, “he said.

Abstract 34. “Super-Resolution of Brain PET Using Real-Time Motion Capture System”, Yanis Chemli, LTCI, Telecom Paris, Paris, Paris, and Gordon Medical Imaging Center, Boston, Massachusetts. Marc-Andre Tetrault, Computer Engineering, Universite de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. Marc Normandin, Georges El Fakhri, Jinsong Ouyang and Yoann Petibonn, Boston, Massachusetts, Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Radiology. And Isabelle Bloch, Sorbonne Universite, CNRS, LIP6, Paris, and LTCI, Telecom Paris, Paris Institute of Technology, Paris, France.

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