Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST) imaging has emerged over the past decade as a new and innovative MRI contrast method, specifically designed for molecular imaging. This original approach can detect small amounts of contrast agent through saturation of fast exchanging protons, allowing for a larger number of imaging schemes and techniques. CEST particularly benefits from high magnetic fields, such as 11.7T in the research presented.
Thanks to optimization of the saturation parameters (e.g. saturation intensity, offset and duration), it is possible to probe different exchanging protons. Thus, CEST offers the possibility to detect a large variety of metabolites including glutamate, glucose, or creatine. This confers to CEST the potential to provide valuable clues about various pathological features in a single experiment.
In this webinar, Dr. Julien Flament of Molecular Imaging Research Center (MIRCen, CEA), Fontenay-aux-Roses, France, will present an introduction to the theoretical background of Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST) imaging and its potential in neurodegenerative disease research.
This webinar will emphasize the significance of CEST in studying neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's diseases, conditions and also spinal cord disorders. Key topics include:
Dr. Julien Flament's expertise includes CEST imaging and the study of brain metabolism using NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectroscopy and CEST imaging. He is currently head of the NMR platform at MIRCen (CEA, Fontenay-aux-Roses).
Dr. Flament's previous research on CEST emphasizes a potential for recognizing metabolic defects of neurodegenerative diseases in specific brain regions. One study utilized a mouse model of Huntington's disease (HD) wherein brain glutamate was a significant HD biomarker to monitor disease activity.
Flament and his colleagues confirmed decreased glutamate levels in the brain of HD mice, suggesting metabolism alterations. More importantly, they pointed out region-specific alterations not seen on traditional MRS (magnetic resonance spectroscopy) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) thanks to the good spatial resolution of CEST imaging.
While MRS and MRI are both valuable tools for monitoring neurodegenerative diseases, Dr. Flament believes in the long-term benefits and promise of CEST. He routinely uses CEST at MIRCen to monitor disease progression in animal models using a state-of-the-art 11.7T scanner from Bruker and high performance cryoprobe.
In this webinar, Dr. Flament, will outline how CEST has been introduced in both clinical and preclinical investigations. He will also provide an overview of how CEST works, the different options available with CEST, and also the theoretical considerations and future possibilities, particularly as they relate to degenerative diseases.
There are few current studies on CEST in humans, but continuing research aims to change that. Possible applications show promise for early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, CEST could also become a valuable tool for tumor imaging; for example, in detecting tumor grades. Additionally, CEST has the prospective to reveal neuro inflammation. While it is too early to rely on CEST for clinical diagnosis, we potentially might one day.
This Webinar is of interest to researcher and professionals working in the field of neurodegenerative diseases including people using CEST imaging.
PhD Julien Flament
Permanent Inserm Research Engineer, Molecular Imaging Research Center (MIRCen, CEA), Fontenay-aux-Roses, France