The Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) is an international leader in measuring brain atrophy in neurodegenerative neurological disorders. BNAC is working continually to discover the causes and progression of neurodegenerative changes in diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), and creating new methods to volumetrically assess them. BNAC has published over 250 peer reviewed articles on central nervous system atrophy in MS and other neurological disorders. 

Our work was one of the first in the field to emphasize the role of deep gray matter (thalamus) and cortical pathology at the earliest stages of MS. BNAC’s Directors of Neuroinformatics (Dr. Michael G. Dwyer) and Integration (Dr. Niels Bergsland) have contributed significantly to the field with novel methods and software for brain atrophy measurement in both research and real-world clinical settings. 

BNAC researchers are now testing the significance of the disappearance of lesions into the cerebrospinal fluid. In a retrospective, five-year study of 1,314 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), BNAC found that atrophied brain lesion volume is the only marker from MRI scans that can accurately predict which MS patients will progress to the most severe form of the disease. Atrophied brain lesion volume is a direct measurement of the disintegration of lesions into cerebrospinal fluid as a result of inflammation and neuro-degeneration. This novel MRI technique may lead to a better understanding of the pathophysiological differences between those lesions that disappear into cerebrospinal fluid compared to those that do not and could provide evidence about the disappearance of lesions as a predictive biomarker of disease progression. It may also provide an earlier window into understanding the impact of therapies on neurodegeneration.

For more information about brain atrophy imaging endpoints, click here.


  • Carolus K, Fuchs TA, Bergsland N, Ramasamy DP, Tran H, Uher T, Horakova D, Vaneckova M, Havrdova E, Benedict RHB, Zivadinov R, Dwyer MG (2022). Time course of lesion-induced atrophy in multiple sclerosis. J Neurol;doi:10.1007/s00415-022-11094-y. [Open article]


  • Jakimovski D, Zivadinov R, Bergsland N, Ramasamy DP, Hagemeier J, Genovese AV, Hojnacki D, Weinstock-Guttman B, Dwyer MG (2021) Clinical feasibility of longitudinal lateral ventricular volume measurements on T2-FLAIR across MRI scanner changes. NeuroImage Clinical 29:102554 [Open article]

  • Bergsland N, Benedict RHB, Dwyer MG, Fuchs TA, Jakimovski D, Schweser F, Tavazzi E, Weinstock-Guttman B, Zivadinov R (2020) Thalamic Nuclei Volumes and Their Relationships to Neuroperformance in Multiple Sclerosis: A Cross-Sectional Structural MRI Study. J Magn Reson Imaging:e27389 [Open article]

  • Jakimovski D, Bergsland N, Dwyer MG, Hagemeier J, Ramasamy DP, Szigeti K, Guttuso T, Lichter D, Hojnacki D, Weinstock-Guttman B, Benedict RHB, Zivadinov R (2020) Long-standing multiple sclerosis neurodegeneration: volumetric magnetic resonance imaging comparison to Parkinson's disease, mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, and elderly healthy controls. Neurobiol Aging 90:84-92 [Open article]

  • Barnett M, Bergsland N, Weinstock-Guttman B, Butzkueven H, Kalincik T, Desmond P, Gaillard F, van Pesch V, Ozakbas S, Rojas JI, Boz C, Altintas A, Wang C, Dwyer MG, Yang S, Jakimovski D, Kyle K, Ramasamy DP, Zivadinov R (2021) Brain atrophy and lesion burden are associated with disability progression in a multiple sclerosis real-world dataset using only T2-FLAIR: The NeuroSTREAM MSBase study. NeuroImage Clinical 32:102802 [Open article]

  • Fuchs TA, Dwyer MG, Jakimovski D, Bergsland N, Ramasamy DP, Weinstock-Guttman B, Hb Benedict R, Zivadinov R (2021) Quantifying disease pathology and predicting disease progression in multiple sclerosis with only clinical routine T2-FLAIR MRI. NeuroImage Clinical 31:102705 [Open article]

  • Dwyer M, Lyman C, Ferrari H, Bergsland N, Fuchs TA, Jakimovski D, Schweser F, Weinstock-Guttmann B, Benedict RHB, Riolo J, Silva D, Zivadinov R (2021) DeepGRAI (Deep Gray Rating via Artificial Intelligence): Fast, feasible, and clinically relevant thalamic atrophy measurement on clinical quality T2-FLAIR MRI in multiple sclerosis. NeuroImage Clinical 30:102652 [Open article]

  • Ontaneda D, Raza PC, Mahajan KR, Arnold DL, Dwyer MG, Gauthier SA, Greve DN, Harrison DM, Henry RG, Li DKB, Mainero C, Moore W, Narayanan S, Oh J, Patel R, Pelletier D, Rauscher A, Rooney WD, Sicotte NL, Tam R, Reich DS, Azevedo CJ, North American Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis C (2021) Deep grey matter injury in multiple sclerosis: a NAIMS consensus statement. Brain 144:1974-1984 [Open article]

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Part of BNAC’s mission is to help share our tools and experience with our colleagues and other industry partners. If you need help with advanced measurement of brain atrophy in your research or clinical trial work, please reach out to discuss how we can assist. Our group brings decades of experience and expertise to every collaborative study and service partnership.

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