Diagnostic Software for Mapping Blood-Brain Barrier Pathology
When blood-vessels in the brain are damaged, substances can leak from the blood into the brain. This leakage can affect cognition and mental health, however there are currently no clinically-available tests for detecting such leakage.
In this project we are continuing the development of a method for diagnosing subtle leakages in the brain’s blood vessels using MRI. We have recently demonstrated that this technology may help explain why patients diagnosed with the same disease often have very different severities of outcome. Specifically, we have shown that: (1) patients with bipolar disorder, who have leaky blood vessels, experience much more severe depression, anxiety and disability; and (2) patients with lupus, who have leaky blood vessels, are more likely to experience cognitive impairment (compared to similar patients with intact blood-vessels). In the current project, we tackle the next stages of development, towards the translation of this diagnostic approach to routine clinical practice.