Innovative Brain Imaging Technology Receives DSF Charitable Foundation Funding
The DSF Charitable Foundation (the charitable-giving organization of the David Scaife family) is providing $1.8 million over 3 years to support the study of an innovative brain imaging technology called high-definition fiber tracking (HDFT) for veterans of the U.S. military who have sustained traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
The HDFT project, led by McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member David Okonkwo, MD, PhD (pictured), Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery and Director of the Brain Trauma Program, and Walter Schneider, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Neurological Surgery and Radiology, and a Senior Scientist at Pitt’s Learning Research and Development Center, aims to reveal damage to the fiber tracts, or cables, of the brain just as X-rays indicate broken bones.
“Conventional imaging techniques are not able to show these injuries, so it’s harder to diagnose, treat, or monitor them,” Dr. Okonkwo said. “HDFT has the potential to identify TBI quickly and accurately, which could in turn influence therapy and recovery.”
In addition to HDFT scans, participants in the research project will receive a toolkit that includes material to carry out targeted therapies, mobile technology to support ongoing monitoring, and other treatment aids.