Assessing brain iron during aging and neurodegenerative diseases using quantitative susceptibility mapping

September 29, 2019

Theme:Assessing brain iron during aging and neurodegenerative diseases using quantitative susceptibility mapping

Host:Dr. Xu Li

Time:09:30, Sunday, September 29, 2019

Location: Room 310, South Building of the Third Teaching Building, SJTU



Quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) is a MRI technique developed in recent years that solves the deconvolution from MRI measured phase/frequency shift to its underlying magnetic susceptibility source, which can be used to map local tissue property related to certain trace element, e.g. iron and myelin content.  QSM overcomes several technical limitations of previous MRI techniques sensitive to magnetic susceptibility, such as blooming artifacts due to nonlocal field changes generated by neighboring susceptibility sources, dependence on subject orientations and imaging parameters, and the difficulties to separate paramagnetic sources (e.g. iron) versus diamagnetic sources (e.g. calcium). QSM has been successfully applied in the investigation of changes of brain iron content in the central nervous system in normal aging and neurodegenerative diseases such as brain iron overload at different brain locations in Huntington’s (HD), Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s (AD) etc. It may also be used to investigate iron deficiency involved in restless legs syndrome (RLS). Accurate and reliable mapping of bulk tissue magnetic susceptibility using QSM may therefore become a useful imaging biomarker for monitoring aging and neurodegeneration and for monitoring iron change therapies including iron chelation and supplement.


Dr. Li obtained his doctoral degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2010. After that, he joined the F.M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the department of Radiology in the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Li’s research focuses on the development of new imaging methods for mapping the magnetic properties of living systems, specifically the quantification of magnetic susceptibility in high-field MRI, and their applications for studying the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the central nervous system.