Improved DW-MRI analysis methods for detecting motor functions

Case ID:

Diffusion weighted MRI (DW-MRI) is an important imaging tool in mapping associated white matter pathways in the brain. WSU has developed a new software program that analyzes DW-MRI images using improved models (ICA+BSM) and algorithmic methods (DWI tractography & Kalman filter analysis). The WSU software can automatically identify primary motor pathways based on structural connectivity.  Both the location of motor cortex and the related CST pathway can be identified.  Function-specific segments (fingers, legs, face) can be automatically identified and quantified to provide a baseline of separate motor function. Notably this method does not require additional imaging data from fMRI or invasive electrical stimulation mapping (ESM). This is particularly valuable for evaluation of pediatric and coma patients that can’t cooperate with other methods. 

• Non-invasive Neurosurgical planning (ex: tumor resection)
• Predict & assess post-operative motor deficit (objective & quantifiable values)
• Useful in infants & young children

Stage of Development:
The clinical usefulness of this method has been confirmed in children with Sturge-Weber Syndrome. WSU results have been compared with fMRI, FDG-PET and ESM.

Benefit Analysis:
Current methods to identify the motor cortex involve invasive direct ESM which carries the inherent risk of electrically-induced seizures and is known to have failures in children. Alternatives such as functional MRI (fMRI) are unable to localize crucial white matter structure and again may not work well with young children.

• “Independent Component Analysis Tractography Combined with a Ball–Stick Model to Isolate Intravoxel Crossing Fibers of the Corticospinal Tracts in Clinical Diffusion MRI” Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (2012)
• “Localization of Function-Specific Segments of the Primary Motor Pathway in Children With Sturge- Weber Syndrome: A Multimodal Imaging Analysis” Journal of Magnetic resonance Imaging (2013)

Patent Information:
Life Science
For Information, Contact:
Nicole Grynaviski
Commercialization Principal
Wayne State University
Justin Jeong
Eishi Asano
Diane Chugani
Harry Chugani