AG Dr. Matthew Betts: Imaging subcortical systems in ageing and disease



Description of the working group

My research aims to understand how structural changes to subcortical neuromodulatory systems relate to cognitive decline in aging and to the clinical and pathological manifestations of neurodegenerative diseases. This incorporates a combination of novel structural MR imaging techniques using ultra high-field MRI, PET imaging, CSF biomarkers and behavioural tasks. A particular focus of my research is to understand how structural changes to the locus coeruleus, substantia nigra and basal ganglia relate to Alzheimer’s disease pathology, neuroinflammation and cognitive decline. The overarching goal of this interdisciplinary research program is to develop clinically validated structural MRI biomarkers that can be used to stratify aging and clinical populations for therapeutic interventions and to monitor disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. 

Ongoing projects of the group

Stimulation of the noradrenergic system as a personalized therapeutic intervention (CBBS Neural Network)

The noradrenergic system’s contribution to neural resource in ageing (CRC 1436

Longitudinal assessment of locus coeruleus and substantia nigra MRI biomarkers in ageing and Parkinson’s disease (NIPARK)

Using Locus Coeruleus MRI imaging to track non-motor symptoms in Parkinsonian syndromes (LCtrackPD)

Association between in vivo locus coeruleus MRI contrast, cognition and CSF biomarkers of neuroinflammation and Alzheimer disease pathology (DELCODE)

Multimodal in vivo imaging of the locus coeruleus and substantia nigra in Parkinson’s disease

Automated segmentation of the locus coeruleus and substantia nigra using neuromelanin-sensitive MRI

Role of neuromelanin-sensitive MRI to assess dopaminergic function and cognitive decline in ageing

Optimisation and standardisation of in vivo locus coeruleus imaging approaches

Relationship between basal ganglia iron deposition and cognitive decline in ageing and Alzheimer’s disease

Last Modification: 06.02.2023 - Contact Person:

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