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NON-INVASIVE IMAGING OF BRAIN CLEARANCE PATHWAYS USING MULTIPLE ECHO TIME ARTERIAL SPIN LABELLING: AN AQUAPORIN-4 STUDY

      Evidence suggests that impaired rates of clearance increase amyloid-β (Aβ) accumulation in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Brain aquaporin-4 (AQP4) water channels appear to play a key role in Aβ clearance, possibly via the glymphatic pathway. To address the lack of non-invasive tools available to assess brain clearance pathways, we have developed an MRI technique (multi-TE ASL) able to measure rates of vascular water delivered across BBB to the mouse brain parenchyma [Ohene et al. ISMRM(2017)]. We hypothesise that AQP4-deficient (AQP4-/-) mice will demonstrate slower transfer of vascular water into the brain parenchyma. This may provide a novel tool to better understand the dynamic role of AQP4 in brain protein clearance, working towards new and clinically viable biomarkers for early diagnosis of AD.
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