Resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) is a unique, non-invasive and versatile method of imaging the brain that provides both neuronal and vascular readouts. It can be used to obtain maps of intrinsic brain networks, which are believed to be key to cognitive function. Because rs-fMRI provides information about blood vessels in the brain, it can be used to shed light on vascular aging.
Dr. Jean Chen, Canada Research Chair in Neuroimaging of Aging, is developing innovative methods for extracting neurovascular information from rs-fMRI data. Specifically, she and her research team are probing the relationship between whole-body vascular health and neurovascular health. They also aim to better understand the connection between vascular and microstructural changes in the brain, which can clarify the neurodegenerative process and help identify new treatments. By collaborating with industry and clinicians, Chen’s ultimate goal is to translate her findings into new therapeutic tools and practices.