New York, NY (PRWEB) October 24, 2013
Functional imaging for patients with spinal cord injuries and neurodegenerative disorders has had definite limitations and has focused mainly on the cervical spinal cord.
A researcher with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Junqian (Gordon) Xu, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology and the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute, has been awarded a two-year, $150,000 Research Scholar Grant from the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Research & Education Foundation. With this grant, Dr. Xu intends to develop a more reliable technique to provide images of the entire spinal cord and to develop protocols for more advanced applications of functional and diffusion MRI to not only more accurately diagnose spinal cord abnormalities, but also to provide better measures of prognosis and disease progression. The goal of the project is to extend beyond the cervical region to cover more of the entire spinal cord.
“Current quantitative functional MRI imaging studies do not define the full extent of spinal cord damage or quantitate residual spinal cord function,” said Dr. Xu. He hopes to overcome these limitations, permitting faster, more reliable assessments of tissue integrity and function for the entire spinal cord.For patients with spinal cord injuries, Dr. Xu explained that this would mean better assessments of how well rehabilitation programs and therapies are working. For patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, it potentially could better predict how a patient’s disease will progress.
Burton P. Drayer, MD, the Charles M. and Marilyn Newman Professor and Chair of Radiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, praised Dr. Xu’s research. “The field of neurodegenerative diseases and spinal cord injury would benefit from more reliable, faster, and comprehensive functional and structural imaging techniques, and Dr. Xu’s research will help advance these goals,” said Dr. Drayer.
Zahi A. Fayad, PhD, Professor of Radiology and Director of the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute (TMII), at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, complimented Dr. Xu for his award. “We at TMII strongly believe that the first step of a good therapy is a good diagnostic. We feel Dr. Xu work is contributing to this vision. We are grateful for the support of the RSNA which enables this work to be completed.”
About the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute
The Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute and the Department of Radiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are advancing the science of imaging. Located in New York City, the Institute is applying imaging modalities in both preclinical and clinical research settings to improve diagnostic accuracy, to increase the understanding of disease pathophysiology and metabolism, and to measure therapeutic efficacy.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven member hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.
The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians, 12-minority-owned free-standing ambulatory surgery centers, over 45 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, as well as 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report.