Our Imaging Network comprises eight state-of-the-art PET-MR brain scanners based at universities and hospitals across the UK. Five of these scanners were funded directly by Dementias Platform UK.
PET-MR technology enables simultaneous acquisition of PET (positron emission tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) data, in a single image and with minimal interference between the two imaging types. An ongoing 'harmonisation' project is synchronising the DPUK network scanners and preparing them for deployment in clinical research.
The DPUK Imaging Network is the first nationwide network of its kind globally. It is creating a world-leading environment for applying advanced brain imaging techniques in support of experimental medicine and clinical trials in dementia research.
Brain imaging is one of the key tools in the fight against dementia – and the DPUK Imaging Network has huge potential to increase our understanding of disease and speed up the development of new treatments.
The network will use imaging techniques to:
- Enable unprecedented longitudinal studies to identify the mechanisms in the brain behind disease onset and progression.
- Identify accurate biomarkers that will facilitate high-quality clinical studies of new therapeutics in neurodegenerative disease (including dementia).
It will also:
- Accelerate uptake of new techniques such as novel radiopharmaceuticals or AI algorithms.
- Establish common operating and analysis procedures for brain imaging studies.
- Enhance research where the clinical state of patients can change between scanning sessions.
- Reduce burden on patients by providing simultaneous PET and MRI scans.
Researchers working with DPUK scanners can request access to a guidebook on study design and standardisation/harmonisation. Download an excerpt of the guidebook (which includes contact details for obtaining further information) here.
The Imaging Network also benefits from a bespoke imaging informatics platform that allows researchers securely to store, share and analyse UK-wide brain imaging data. The imaging platform is accessed via the DPUK Data Portal.
The DPUK Imaging Network is led by Dr Julian Matthews (University of Manchester).