News | Clinical Trials | December 30, 2015

RSNA Presents Alexander Margulis Award to Alzheimer’s Study

Jeffrey W. Prescott, M.D., Ph.D.

The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) presented its fourth Alexander R. Margulis Award for Scientific Excellence to Jeffrey W. Prescott, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues, for the article, “The Alzheimer Structural Connectome: Changes in Cortical Network Topology with Increased Amyloid Plaque Burden,” published in Radiology in October 2014.

Named for Alexander R. Margulis, M.D., a distinguished investigator and inspiring visionary in the science of radiology, this new annual award recognizes the best original scientific article published in RSNA’s peer-reviewed journal Radiology.

“Receiving the Alexander R. Margulis Award is an incredible distinction,” said Prescott, a radiology resident at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. “As a young researcher who reads Radiology every month, I can’t stress how honored I am to be chosen for this award by such a prestigious scientific journal. This work would not have been possible without the substantial effort of every single author on this study. I feel very fortunate to have worked with each of these great researchers.”

Since 2005, the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) has been collecting and analyzing numerous biomarkers, including blood and cerebrospinal fluid, positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, and MRI in patients suffering from or at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Funded by a collaboration of multiple National Institutes of Health (NIH) institutes, as well as private industry, the initiative has enrolled more than 1,700 patients worldwide. 

“The research would not have been possible without the efforts of everyone involved with the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative,” Dr. Prescott said. “ADNI gave us access to a large, well-curated database of images and clinical information, so that we were able to investigate our hypothesis in a powerful but timely manner.”

The study investigated the brain's structural connectome, a map of white matter tracts that carry signals between different areas of the brain. Researchers evaluated data from ADNI patients to identify differences in the structural connectome between individuals with normal cognition, individuals with mild cognitive impairment, and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease to examine how structural connectivity might change with increased cortical amyloid deposition.

“One of our main goals was to use this data to investigate how early structural changes occur in the brain, and to determine if we are able to detect structural changes over time,” Dr. Prescott said. “Dementia has many different symptoms, and people decline at different rates. Neuroimaging is the best technique to investigate why those rates of decline are different.”

The researchers correlated changes in the structural connectome shown on diffusion tensor images with results from florbetapir positron emission tomography imaging, a technique that measures the amount of beta amyloid plaque in the brain. Increased florbetapir uptake corresponds with greater amounts of the protein.

The results showed a strong association between florbetapir uptake and decreases in strength of the structural connectome in each of the five areas of the brain studied, suggesting that structural network changes need to be a target for therapy early in the course of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Margulis award selection committee was impressed with the use of the international cohort of patients, the novelty of the analysis, and the potential importance of the findings with respect to future therapy for Alzheimer’s disease.

“This type of analysis could have substantial impact on trials of Alzheimer's disease therapies,” said Radiology editor, Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D.  “Specifically, biomarker information, including the integrity of the connectome, might be studied to reduce development times for new drugs, diminish costs associated with clinical trials, improve drug safety and optimize drug efficacy.”

For more information: RSNA.org

Related Content

Sponsored Content | Videos | Contrast Media | January 22, 2019
ITN Contributing Editor Greg Freiherr speaks with Guerb
FDA Clears Siemens Healthineers' Multix Impact Digital X-ray System
Technology | Digital Radiography (DR) | January 21, 2019
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the Multix Impact, an affordably priced, floor-mounted digital...
Partners HealthCare Chooses Visage 7 for Enterprise Imaging
News | Enterprise Imaging | January 18, 2019
Visage Imaging Inc. announced the signing of Partners HealthCare, the largest health system in Massachusetts, for...
Philips Launches Azurion With FlexArm
Technology | Angiography | January 17, 2019
Philips announced the launch of Azurion with FlexArm, designed to enhance positioning flexibility for image-guided...
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Partners With Philips for Health IT and Clinical Informatics
News | Enterprise Imaging | January 16, 2019
Philips announced that NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital has chosen to implement the company’s IntelliSpace Enterprise...
MIM Software Inc. Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance for Molecular Radiotherapy Dosimetry
Technology | Nuclear Imaging | January 16, 2019
MIM Software Inc. received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for molecular radiotherapy...
Artificial Intelligence Used in Clinical Practice to Measure Breast Density
News | Artificial Intelligence | January 15, 2019
An artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm measures breast density at the level of an experienced mammographer,...
Sponsored Content | Videos | Artificial Intelligence | January 15, 2019
ITN Contributing Editor Greg Freiherr offers an overview of...
Sponsored Content | Videos | Enterprise Imaging | January 14, 2019
ITN Contributing Editor Greg Freiherr offers an overview of enterprise
Machine Learning Uncovers New Insights Into Human Brain Through fMRI
News | Neuro Imaging | January 11, 2019
An interdisciplinary research team led by scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has successfully...