Taking Advanced Diffusion Imaging to the Clinic for Pediatric Patients with ADHD

This project will develop clinically feasible methods for the acquisition and analysis of advanced diffusionmagnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) of pediatric patients and apply it to study micro and macro level pathologyin attention-deficit hyperactivity-disorder (ADHD). Advanced dMRI techniques can provide details about thelayout of white matter pathways in the brain that are not possible using the current clinical standard of diffusiontensor imaging (DTI). However, these advanced protocols require long scan times and any motion during thistime results in artifacts and loss of signal. As a result, dMRI acquisition of children becomes a challenging task,particularly if they are hyperactive (as in ADHD). In this grant application, we propose several novel algorithmsfor fast acquisition and reconstruction of advanced dMRI protocols. In particular, we will use our multi-sliceacquisition protocol (as opposed to the standard single-slice acquisition) along with a scheme to recover dMRIsignals from very few measurements. This will dramatically reduce scan time and make it possible to obtainadvanced dMRI scans of pediatric patients (in a clinic). We will validate our methods on several test subjectsand then apply them to the study of children and adolescents with ADHD. In particular, we will analyze globalconnectivity properties of the anatomical neural networks in ADHD along with local diffusion basedmicrostructural properties that may be affected due to pathology. Thus, the improvements suggested in thisproposal will bring advanced dMRI protocols to the clinic and allow us to quantify micro and macro levelabnormalities in patients with any type of psychiatric or neurological disorder.