A mild atrophy is a typical finding in normal aging. Especially at the beginning of neurodegenerative diseases, e.g. Alzheimer dementia it is usually not easy to identify focal atrophy that is not normal for the age of the patient.

In a large research project in collaboration with the neurologic clinic a large control dataset with healthy adults between the age of 18 and 80 is currently being measured at one of our 3T scanners with a dedicated coil and a sequence set that combines structural MRI (3D T1-, T2-and FLAIR) with functional MRI (resting state and DTI) of the brain and of the spine.

Goal of the work is to develop techniques that allow an automated identification and quantification of regional atrophy in patients with suspected neurodegenerative disorders. The same dataset is also used to improve and develop new techniques for the automatic lesion detection in structural epilepsy. Especially small focal cortical dysplasia are often missed on conventional scans and the use of automatic detection tools has been previously proven. One main focus is currently on the advantage of multi contrast segmentation based on the combination of T1-, T2 and FLAIR-weighted high resolution 3D datasets.