Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRI) is an imaging tool that measures the metabolic profile of the brain. Atrophy and changes in different parts of the brain can be studied for various lesion models such as stroke, traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases. MRI allows scientists to monitor the progression of these diseases with repeated sampling measures and combine it with other assays such as behavioral tests and biomarkers.
0:07 Two of the major types of MRI that we perform in massive numbers on a daily basis are the proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, which allows us to get the metabolic profile of the brain, conventional structural imaging of the brain. This is applicable for various lesion models, such as stroke and TBI, but also if you want to check the whole volume of the brain or the separate parts of the brain. For example, in neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington’s disease, you could assess the atrophy, the progression of the changes in different parts of the brain. For longitudinal studies of neurodegenerative diseases, it allows us to check the progression of the disease in the same animal model and combine that with other assays, such as behavioral studies, biomarker studies, and other repeated sampling measures that we can take over the progression of the disease. So that can be continued over the year, for example in aged animals or in Alzheimer's disease models. Similarly, we can check the metabolic profile of the brain over multiple timepoints. And being noninvasive, MRI really gives you an in-depth look into the metabolism of the brain without disturbing your animal. 1:38 Another advantage of our Charles River facility that we are running really high-throughput imaging, running two magnets almost 24/7. And having highly trained technicians and scientists, it allows us to achieve numbers like 5,000 MRI scans per year. This is the actual statistics from 2016. Depending on the type of studies, we are able to do up to 12 animals per day in one magnet. Of course, there are applications that require a little bit longer scanning, like pharmacological MRI where one single scan can take up to four hours. 2:19 Other applications include diffusion tensor imaging, dynamic susceptibility contrast-enhanced imaging. Depending on which modality our client requests, the duration of the study, and one single imaging session, it varies dramatically.