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Rohaid Ali, Maged Goubran, Omar Choudhri and Michael M. Zeineh

The goal of this paper was to review the effectiveness of using 7-T MRI to study neuroimaging biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The authors reviewed the literature for articles published to date on the use of 7-T MRI to study AD. Thus far, there are 3 neuroimaging biomarkers for AD that have been studied using 7-T MRI in AD tissue: 1) neuroanatomical atrophy; 2) molecular characterization of hypointensities; and 3) microinfarcts.

Seven-Tesla MRI has had mixed results when used to study the 3 aforementioned neuroimaging biomarkers for AD.

First, in the detection of neuroanatomical atrophy, 7-T MRI has exciting potential. Historically, noninvasive imaging of neuroanatomical atrophy during AD has been limited by suboptimal resolution. However, now there is compelling evidence that the high resolution of 7-T MRI may help overcome this hurdle. Second, in detecting the characterization of hypointensities, 7-T MRI has had varied success. PET scans will most likely continue to lead in the noninvasive imaging of amyloid plaques; however, there is emerging evidence that 7-T MRI can accurately detect iron deposits within activated microglia, which may help shed light on the role of the immune system in AD pathogenesis. Finally, in the detection of microinfarcts, 7-T MRI may also play a promising role, which may help further elucidate the relationship between cerebrovascular health and AD progression.

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Benjamin Davidson, Karim Mithani, Yuexi Huang, Ryan M. Jones, Maged Goubran, Ying Meng, John Snell, Kullervo Hynynen, Clement Hamani and Nir Lipsman

OBJECTIVE

Magnetic resonance imaging–guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is an emerging treatment modality that enables incisionless ablative neurosurgical procedures. Bilateral MRgFUS capsulotomy has recently been demonstrated to be safe and effective in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). Preliminary evidence has suggested that bilateral MRgFUS capsulotomy can present increased difficulties in reaching lesional temperatures as compared to unilateral thalamotomy. The authors of this article aimed to study the parameters associated with successful MRgFUS capsulotomy lesioning and to present longitudinal radiographic findings following MRgFUS capsulotomy.

METHODS

Using data from 22 attempted MRgFUS capsulotomy treatments, the authors investigated the relationship between various sonication parameters and the maximal temperature achieved at the intracranial target. Lesion volume and morphology were analyzed longitudinally using structural and diffusion tensor imaging. A retreatment procedure was attempted in one patient, and their postoperative imaging is presented.

RESULTS

Skull density ratio (SDR), skull thickness, and angle of incidence were significantly correlated with the maximal temperature achieved. MRgFUS capsulotomy lesions appeared similar to those following MRgFUS thalamotomy, with three concentric zones observed on MRI. Lesion volumes regressed substantially over time following MRgFUS. Fractional anisotropy analysis revealed a disruption in white matter integrity, followed by a gradual return to near-baseline levels concurrent with lesion regression. In the patient who underwent retreatment, successful bilateral lesioning was achieved, and there were no adverse clinical or radiographic events.

CONCLUSIONS

With the current iteration of MRgFUS technology, skull-related parameters such as SDR, skull thickness, and angle of incidence should be considered when selecting patients suitable for MRgFUS capsulotomy. Lesions appear to follow morphological patterns similar to what is seen following MRgFUS thalamotomy. Retreatment appears to be safe, although additional cases will be necessary to further evaluate the associated safety profile.