Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, is honored as a recipient of the 2022 State University of New York Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities

Tuesday, July 5th, 2022

Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) director and University at Buffalo Professor of Neurology Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, is among six UB faculty honored as recipients of the 2022 State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. The SUNY system-wide Chancellor’s Awards recognize “consistently superior professional achievement and the ongoing pursuit of excellence” and the award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities specifically recognizes “those who engage actively in scholarly and creative pursuits beyond their teaching responsibilities.” 

AIMING NEW IMAGING METHODS AT A POTENTIALLY PROMISING THERAPEUTIC TARGET: MICROGLIA ACTIVATION

Thursday, June 30th, 2022

Initiating MS Research Breakthroughs While Building on Consensus

In a recent University at Buffalo’s Department of Neurology “Grand Rounds” presentation to research colleagues, doctoral candidates, and other students, BNAC Director Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, provided a comprehensive discussion of how a combination of traditional and novel imaging methods open the door wider to targeting microglia activation as a viable MS therapy. New imaging methods used in the study make it possible or easier to reliably assess microglia activation in living patients in addition to guiding pharmaceutical companies developing new microglia-focused MS treatments.

Zivadinov and his BNAC colleagues are delivering therapy-accelerating imaging of microglia activation, a long-trusted but hard-to-measure biomarker for secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS). Currently it is not possible to predict who will eventually develop SPMS in which lost or damaged nerves worsen MS symptoms.

VIDEO: First Head-to-head comparison of FDA-approved DMTs using four imaging modalities is explained by Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD

Wednesday, June 1st, 2022

The first head-to-head comparison using microglia imaging of two FDA-approved disease-modifying treatments (DMTs) for multiple sclerosis is underway. Watch Center Director Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD explain a study underway at the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) on NeurologyLive®.

UB’s Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center Receives $100,000 Challenge Grant to Study Advanced Multiple Sclerosis

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases (AFRFND) has awarded a $100,000 challenge grant to the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) in support of the center’s groundbreaking study of people with advanced-stage progressive Multiple Sclerosis. The grant is part of an ongoing campaign that, so far, has raised over $400,000 toward the overall goal of $1 million to underwrite this multi-year, investigator-initiated study. 

CASA-MS Featured on WKBW TV 7, buffalo's abc affiliate

Friday, April 22nd, 2022

Reporter Eileen Buckley reports for WKBW Channel 7, Buffalo's ABC news affiliate, on the CASA-MS study. Interviews with Center Director Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, and BNAC Advisory Council Chair Larry Montani help present this breakthrough study to those who may be helped as well as those who may wish to help underwriting this investigator initiated study.  Find out more about how you can contribute here. Click on the headline above to see the news report.

The Story of CASA-MS

Thursday, April 21st, 2022

In a news release today, the University at Buffalo announced the unique CASA-MS study, that compares people with multiple sclerosis to others whose disease has not progressed.

The “Comprehensive Assessment of Severely Affected Multiple Sclerosis” study is being performed by researchers at UB’s Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) in partnership with the Jacobs MS Treatment Center, part of the Department of Neurology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB, as well as The Boston Home, a long-term care facility in Boston, Massachusetts, that specializes in caring for people with advanced-stage MS.

CASA-MS Study Story Told in The Buffalo News

Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Today in The Buffalo News, reporter Scott Scanlon tells the story of CASA-MS – the Comprehensive Assessment of Severely Affected Multiple Sclerosis study, its inspiration, and its amazing participants.

This first-of-its-kind study is exploring the question that haunts MS patients as soon as they are diagnosed: Am I going to become severely disabled by my disease?

BNAC STUDENT ASSERTS PATIENT PERSPECTIVE IN BOSTON GLOBE STORY ON “TIK TOK TICS”

Monday, April 11th, 2022

BNAC’s Clinical Trial Research Assistant and Project Manager Devon Oship, contributes the perspective of a neurology student and a Tourettic woman in a recent Boston Globe feature that asks the question, “Are young women catching ‘TikTok tics’ from social media? The answer is complex.”

Devon’s advocacy, stretches back to her elementary school years. At age 11, she was featured in an ABC 20/20 documentary about Tourette. She has been working as a science and civil rights educator ever since, with a special focus on support for women and girls affected by Tourette syndrome. Her passion and contributions mirror BNAC’s longstanding commitment to patient-centered research. The research community must continue to challenge assumptions and funding dynamics that obscure or ignore the experience of all patients and people directly affected by disorders and disease.

BNAC’s Advisory Council, consisting of people with or directly affected by multiple sclerosis, represents the voice of patients across our work with MS.

Here is the Globe story, including Devon’s insights.

Dejan Jakimovski, MD, PhD, presents first research to use the sNfL biomarker to affirm the link between brain blood flow and neuronal damage associated with MS

Friday, April 8th, 2022

At the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting this week, Clinical Research Director Dejan Jakimovski, MD, PhD, presented findings of a recent study, conducted with BNAC colleagues Drs. Niels Bergsland and Michael Dwyer, that explored the correlation between blood flow to the brain and neuronal damage associated with multiple sclerosis. 

Robert Zivadinov, MD PhD, Looks at Brain Atrophy in MS on a Sanofi Genzyme Podcast

Thursday, April 7th, 2022

Brain atrophy is one of the most destructive consequences of Multiple Sclerosis. In this recent episode of the “The MS Podcast” presented by Sanofi Genzyme, BNAC Center Director Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, takes a closer look at brain atrophy and other brain measures in explaining physical disability with MS.

Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, Discusses DeepGRAI Registry Study at 2022 AAN

Monday, April 4th, 2022

In an interview by NeurologyLive® from the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, BNAC Center Director Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, explains the significance of the DeepGRAI registry study. The study applied an Artificial Intelligence algorithm developed by BNAC’s Michael Dwyer, Ph.D., to analyze routine, clinical MRI (T2FLAIR) scans taken in 30-35 different centers of approximately 1,000 people with MS. The use of AI on widely-available MRI scans reliably measured thalamic volume—an established marker for disease progression including disability and declining cognition in people with MS.

In the interview, now available on NeurologyLive®, Zivadinov notes that, “This is important because… it is now possible to have this done on every clinical patient. It clearly gives providers a tool to better measure what's happening from a gray matter point of view.”

The AI tool is named DeepGRAI—Deep Gray Rating via Artificial Intelligence—for its use of imperfect information to generate reliable measurements, is now available to clinicians.

 

Scores of BNAC Alumni Invited to Reconnect and Explore Collaboration

Thursday, March 3rd, 2022

Scores of researchers, educators, technicians, doctors, and all-around interesting people share months or years as members of the team at the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center… and now we are reconnecting! 

A new alumni group, co-chaired by Tereza Gabelić, MD, PhD, Eleonora Tavazzi, MD, and Mihael Varosanec, MD, gathered by Zoom on Jan. 14, welcoming colleagues from around the world and across BNAC’s two decades.

The purpose? Connect. Congratulate one another on remarkable research and careers—all still underway! And, in due course, continue the collaboration we began during our time at the University of Buffalo. 

Since 2000, BNAC faculty have mentored hundreds of MD and PhD candidates, neuroimaging fellows, neurology residents, MSc students, and undergraduates. Each one has a story to tell and a career trajectory that has been supported, advanced, and perhaps inspired by their work with BNAC colleagues. It’s an amazing record that continues today!

Understanding MS Research Endpoints Helps Providers and Payers Improve Outcomes Using DMTs

Tuesday, March 1st, 2022

BNAC Director Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, is lead author of “Population Health Guide to the Evolution of Endpoints in Multiple Sclerosis.” The AJMC-published whitepaper, sponsored by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, addresses the challenge to formulary and clinical decision makers in comparing the efficacy of disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for people with Multiple Sclerosis.

Zivadinov, along with Michael J. Fine, MDKrishna R. Patel, PharmD, RPh, and Neil Minkoff, MD, have provided a framework for providers and payers to better understand the methodologies employed in clinical trials on the increasing number of MS DMTs.

Robert Zivadinov, MD PhD, Discusses What MRI Tells Us About EBV in MS on a Sanofi Genzyme Podcast

Monday, February 28th, 2022

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a member of the herpes virus family and one of the most common human viruses found all over the world. In this recent episode of the “The MS Podcast” presented by Sanofi Genzyme, BNAC Center Director Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, takes a closer look at the role of EBV in MS and its association with brain MRI images.

2021 BNAC Newsletter

Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

Thank you for taking an interest in the patient-centered research, the scientists, the core laboratory services, and the mission of the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center. It’s a pleasure to share highlights from 2021 and invite you to stay in touch with our progress on the developments that matter most to you. We hope you find this 2021 Newsletter informative and welcome your comments and suggestions. 

BNAC Study and Novel Software Show Uncommon Insight About MS Progression from Common MRI Scans

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

There is no commonly-available way for clinical neurologists to use an “everyday” MRI to provide their multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with meaningful news about their disease progression, including brain tissue changes associated with physical and cognitive impairment. The reason? Conventional MRI methods in the vast majority of clinical settings are inadequate in creating scans that can be used to measure two of the most reliable known “markers” of MS progression. 

In August of this year, though, BNAC researchers published their NeuroSTREAM MSBase study. The study demonstrated that neurologists using a new, open-source software—NeuroSTREAM, recently co-developed by BNAC scientists—along with the widely-available T2-FLAIR MRI protocol, can perform and read scans that confidently assess reliable and clinically meaningful proxies of the two critical markers—salient central brain lesion volume (SCLV) and lateral ventricle volume (LVV)—in regular clinical routine settings and even in the face of complete scanner changes.

NIH Funds Study of Brain Iron in Multiple Sclerosis Progression and Remission

Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

Ferdinand Schweser, Ph.D., BNAC’s Director of Sequence Development, will lead an international team exploring the link between deep gray matter iron and multiple sclerosis progression. The four-year, $1.4 million NIH-funded study will analyze thousands of MRI scans taken over 10 years to establish an objective means to assess brain iron status that could serve as part of a biomarker of MS disease progression and remission.

Seeking the Relationship Between Brain Structure and Cognitive Performance in Elderly People with MS

Friday, October 29th, 2021

BNAC researchers led by Dejan Jakimovski, M.D. Ph.D., have been awarded a pilot research grant by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) to determine which brain structures are responsible for specific types of cognitive decline in 100 aging MS patients. The results could open the door for researchers to monitor the most clinically relevant brain regions and potentially predict an individual patient’s risk for cognitive decline as well as appropriate treatment.

As new disease-modifying therapies extend the lives of people with multiple sclerosis by as many as 20 years or more, it becomes increasingly important to understand the causes of cognitive decline experienced by a growing percent of people with MS.

BNAC JOINS NEUROLOGYLIVE® STRATEGIC ALLIANCE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM

Friday, August 27th, 2021

NeurologyLive®, a multimedia platform dedicated to providing health care professionals with direct access to expert-driven, practice-changing news and insights in neurology, welcomes Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center to its Strategic Alliance Partnership (SAP) program.

BRAIN ATROPHY AND LESION BURDEN ARE ASSOCIATED WITH MS DISABILITY PROGRESSION

Friday, August 27th, 2021

Brain atrophy and lesion burden are associated with disability progression in a multiple sclerosis real-world dataset using only T2-FLAIR. Using the largest MRI-realworld multiple sclerosis dataset studied to date, the NeuroSTREAM-MSBase study, recently published in Neurogimage/Clinical, is the fruition of a collaboration between Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre, Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC), MSBase and clinicians across the globe.