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MRI Research Lab

Our laboratory's clinical research efforts are currently focused on the following advanced MR techniques:

T1 Brain Structural Morphometry and Volumetry

We have existing collaborative partnership with Siemens Healthineers in utilizing a fully automated volume-based morphometry tool. Our volumetry works include examining deep gray nuclear lesion load as a marker that aids in discriminating the postural instability gait disorder (PIGD) motor subtype from tremor dominant Parkinson's disease, and spatial localization of automatically segmented periventricular white matter hyperintensity load as a predictor of cognitive and motor dysfunction. More information is available at the Neurodegenerative Research Program.

Segmentation masks overlaid on axial T1-MPRAGE images of a patient with the postural instability gait disorder (PIGD) motor subtype of Parkinson's disease 

Neuromelanin-sensitive Imaging and Susceptibility-weighted Imaging

Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) are known to have dopaminergic denervation in the substantia nigra (SN) and cognitive impairment. Prior studies have shown that nigrosome-1, a subregion of the SN, and neuromelanin can better detect PD pathology. High resolution susceptibility map-weighted imaging (SMWI) in collaboration with Prof Lee Jongho (Seoul National University, South Korea) has improved visualization of nigrosome-1 region of the SN. SMWI utilizes susceptibility weighting mask derived from quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) to enhance the contrast for the SWI magnitude images. More information is available at the Neurodegenerative Research Program.

Myelin Water Imaging

Myelin water imaging (MWI) is an MRI imaging biomarker for myelin. It has been applied in various applications including neurodegenerative disease, neurodevelopmental, and neuroplasticity studies. Our ongoing studies include studying myelin content in patients with Parkinson's disease and chemo-brain.

Myelin water imaging map in a healthy subject

Diffusion MRI

Diffusion MRI is a powerful technique to interrogate diffusion of water molecules in vivo. We have a long history of diffusion MRI works starting from a case-control study of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in Parkinson's disease. We have utilized various diffusion MRI models (DTI, diffusion kurtosis imaging, diffusion spectrum imaging, free water diffusion MRI) and tractography in the interrogation of brain microstructural changes in patients with Parkinson's disease. Most recently we been performing longitudinal diffusion MR connectometry analysis on nigrostriatal dopaminergic tracts in Parkinson's disease (PD).

We have also evaluated the use of RESOLVE-DTI in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and trigeminal nerve DTI tractography to improve resolution of the brain stem nuclei and reduce scan time in the latter through combined use of simultaneous multi-slice (SMS) imaging.


Comparision of nigrostriatal streamlines between healthy control subjects and Parkinson's disease across 2 years

Trigeminal nerve tractography using RESOLVE-DTI with and without simultaneous multi-slice (SMS) imaging, a type of parallel image reconstruction method that shortens scan time

More information is available at

Resting-state fMRI

We have also extended our scope of MRI analytics into resting-state fMRI, including more recent work in investigating the association of functional alterations in the neural substrates of excessive daytime sleepiness of drug naïve PD patients. More information is available at the Neurodegenerative Research Program[PSZ4] .

Representative axial images demonstrating spatial localization of the salience, deep grey, posterior default mode and motor networks through independent component analysis.


Kindly contact the team consisting of A/Prof Chan Ling Ling, Dr Septian Hartono and Dr Seow Poh Choo for more information.