BNAC UPDATES


The Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) strives to extend the boundaries of current knowledge about neurological diseases and disorders through innovative research techniques and the application of bioinformatics resources.
 

2017

  • In 2017, BNAC was invited to be co-investigator on two Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) studies:
    • Blood Pressure control in concussion – PI: Blaire Johnson, PhD; using microneurography to assess sympathetic activity during acute periods of hypo- and hypertension as well as advanced MRI techniques to understand the mechanisms that underpin concussion pathophysiology.
    • Multimodal multiparametric brain mapping for pre-symptomatic diagnosis and treatment development in Krabbe Disease – PI: Ferdinand Schweser, PhD; to determine if the pre-symptomatic changes of brain metabolism in Krabbe Disease can be detected in vivo with glucose PET-MRI or advanced MRS and connectome MRI.
  • A study on the effects of working memory training on brain function, structure, and cognition in MS began in February 2017 with Janet Schucard, MD, through the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This is a 3-year study to evaluate the effects of a short-term adaptive working memory training paradigm in comparison with a no-contact control group and an active control group.
  • In June 2017, BNAC began work of two significant preclinical studies, funded by industry:
    • Effect of Anti-CD20 on MOG EAE mouse model of multiple sclerosis, with Dr. Zivadinov as PI. This study will continue through December 2018.
    • Effect of anti-muCD52 antibody on brain and spinal cord imaging markers of neurodegeneration, microglia, and macrophage activation in the Theiler’s Murine Encephalomyelitis Virus model of demyelination, with Dr. Zivadinov as PI. This study will also continue through December 2018.
  • In April 2017, Michael Dwyer was winner of the North American Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis (NAIMS) Logo Contest. Dr. Dwyer’s design was chosen from over 30 entries as the new logo for NAIMS
  • At the 7th Annual International Society for Neurovascular Disease (ISNVD) Conference held May 2017 in Taormina, Sicily, BNAC’s Dr. Dejan Jakimovski was awarded the first ever “Tracy Putnam Award for Research Excellence,” in recognition of his valuable contributions to the ISNVD. Dr. Jakimovski received this special recognition for receiving numerous best podium presentations as well as best young investigator awards.
  • Tom Fuchs, PhD student, received the Student Award of Excellence for Promoting Inclusions and Cultural Diversity from the Jacobs School of Medicine.
  • Michelle Sudyn, BNAC PhD student received the 2017 Beverly Peterson Bishop and Charles W. Bishop Outstanding Neuroscience Thesis Award for an excellent dissertation on MS and her contributions to the UB Neuroscience Program.
  • In September, Dr. Ferdinand Schweser was the recipient of a David Mahoney Neuroimaging Program Award, funded by the Charles A. Dana Foundation. Dr. Schweser’s award is for study entitled, The impact of acute and chronic neuroinflammation on iron homeostasis and oligodendrocyte viability in the deep gray matter.
  • In November 2017, four UB researchers including Dr. Robert Zivadinov and PhD students Claire Modica and Michelle Sudyn, were recognized by ABSA International (The Association for Biosafety and Biosecurity) with the association’s Richard C. Kundsen Publication award for a risk assessment study of a virus found in laboratory mice. The Knudsen award honors an article published in the journal, Applied Biosafety that reports a significant contribution in scientific investigation and/or health and safety.
  • Throughout 2017, travel grants were awarded to the following members of the BNAC team:
    • Tom Fuchs, PhD student – Virginia Barnes Travel Award from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences for attending the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) meeting in Boston, Massachusetts in April 2017, and; a 2017 European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) travel grant for young scientists whose abstracts have been accepted for oral or poster presentation at the annual Congress (October 2017).
    • Emanuele Ghione, BNAC Fellow – a 2017 ECTRIMS travel grant for young scientists whose abstracts have been accepted for oral or poster presentation at the annual Congress (October 2017).
    • Dejan Jakimovski, PhD student – America’s Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum 2017 Educational Grant (February 2017), awarded to Young Investigators whose abstracts are accepted for a platform or poster presentation, and; a 2017 ECTRIMS travel grant for young scientists whose abstracts have been accepted for oral or poster presentation at the annual Congress (October 2017).
    • Michelle Sudyn, PhD student – Beverly Peterson Bishop and Charles W. Bishop 201 Neuroscience Travel Grant from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, to attend the AAN meeting in Boston in April 2017.

2016

  • The NeuroSTREAM analysis tool has been substantially updated with a multi-atlas algorithm to provide more accurate and robust atrophy measures. To build a comprehensive normative database, it has been run on over 14,000 baseline and follow-up MRI scans from 2,140 people with MS, 200 people with CIS and 381 healthy individuals. This normative data is in the process of being incorporated into an interactive, web-based predictive modeling system. In the meantime, the NeuroSTREAM method has also been applied to a prospectively collected real-world multi-center study of clinical routine imaging in MS (MS-MRIUS). In this large, heterogeneous dataset, NeuroSTREAM was the only atrophy measure that produced significant and clinically-correlated results.
  • Another significant study that BNAC worked on this year was called “Cerebral Microbleeds in Multiple Sclerosis; A case-controlled study.” It was published in Radiology. Cerebral microbleeds have been documented to be associated with aging and neurodegenerative disorders. No previous studies have investigated Cerebral Microbleeds (CMB) in terms of their prevalence to MS patients. We scanned a number of MS patients here in Buffalo by means of a 3T MRI and they were also given clinical examinations. CMB number was assessed on susceptibility-weighted minimum intensity projections using the Microbleed Anatomical Rating Scale. Our results concluded that more MS patients had CMBs compared to healthy controls. The presence of CMBs also put patients at risk for more physical disability as well as deteriorated auditory/verbal learning and memory in MS patients.
  • In 2016, we concluded a study called “Humoral Response to EBV is Associated with Cortical Atrophy and Lesion Burden in MS patients” which was published in Neurology, Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation. Because dysregulated Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-infected B cells may induce meningeal inflammation, which contributes to cortical pathology in MS, we investigated associations between antibody responses to EBV and the development of cortical pathology in MS. All participants were scanned on 3T MRI. Serum samples were analyzed for IgG antibodies against EBV viral capsid antigen (VCA) and EBV nuclear antigen-1 (EBNA-1), and their quartiles were determined on the whole study sample. We found that more than 30% of patients with MS and CIS presented with the highest quartile of anti-EBV-VCA and -EBNA-1 status compared to ≤10% of healthy controls. Humoral response to anti-EBV-VCA and -EBNA-1 is associated with more advanced cortical atrophy, accumulation of chronic T1 black holes and focal white matter lesions in patients with MS.
  • CEG Study: Throughout 2016, The Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) continued actively enrolling subjects in the CEG-MS study. With the help of Dr. Dejan Jakimovski and Dr.Ivo Paunkoski as new fellows, together with Dr.Sirin Gandhi, the recruitment process went as planned. Following interim analysis, the CEG-MS study yielded several published journal and conference papers. Notable papers accepted in high impact factor journals like Multiple Sclerosis Journal (MSJ) and Radiology as well as conference abstracts in the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), ECTRIMS (European Committee for Treatment and Research In Multiple Sclerosis) and The International Society for Neurovascular Diseases (ISNVD) further demonstrate the uniqueness and strength of this long-term follow-up study. With the increasing number of enrolled patients, we are looking forward to an exciting 2017 that will vastly contribute in understanding the cardiovascular, environmental and genetic influences on the pathophysiology and progression of MS.

2015

  • BNAC is a leader in the development of new analysis techniques geared toward obtaining a more complete understanding of underlying disease processes. To view the latest developments of BNAC’s research studies on quantitative magnetic resonance, ultrasound and optic coherence tomography imaging findings in multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases as well as aging, click here.
  • BNAC is investigating the role that extracranial venous abnormalities play in the pathophysiology of neurologic disorders. To see the latest updates in the extracranial venous system research, click here.

2014

  • BNAC is a dedicated research center for quantitative analysis of MRI for clinical research including Phase I, II, III, and IV clinical trials and investigator-led research studies on multiple sclerosis, stroke, Parkinon’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. BNAC ensures fast contracting, ethical committee approval and start-up processes, and is structured to manage multiple projects with tens of thousands of scans. BNAC brings to every clinical trial a high degree of professionalism and integrity that stipulates unequivocal respect for deadlines and commitments.
  • Buffalo, NY – February 4, 2014. BNAC part in the GALA study that prompts change in FDA labelling for glatiramer acetate (Copaxone©). On the basis of results from the GALA study group, which included UB Dept. of Neurology Professor of Neurology Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, the FDA has approved three-times weekly glatiramer acetate (Copaxone©) injections for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Prior approved dosing required daily injections. The study, which was conducted across 17 countries and involved more than 1400 patients, showed that the three-times weekly regimen is safe and effective, with the advantage of fewer injections. The GALA study was published in the June 2013 issue of Annals of Neurology. Dr. Zivadinov directs the BNAC which performed the MRI analysis for the trial.