Scientist co-edits monograph on new methods of brain research

Yury V. Kistenev, a scientist from Tomsk State University, and Nirmal Mazumder and Gireesh Gangadharan, from Manipal School of Life Sciences, India, have published a monograph “Advances in Brain Imaging Techniques” (Springer, 2022). The book describes new methods for noninvasive early diagnosis, when a disease is identified at early stages without collecting bio tissue samples, and specifically, how biophotonic approaches like molecular imaging combined with AI can be used for understanding the pathomechanism of brain disorders.

“We present our own results and sum up new achievements in neuroimaging techniques and various IT instruments, and explain new approaches to central nervous system research,” says Yuriy Kistenev, one of the monograph’s editors, the co-author of several chapters, and head of the TSU Laboratory of Laser Molecular Imaging and Machine Learning. “It is very important that imaging gives us not only the morphological view but also the molecular composition of the object of study.”

The monograph describes classical methods of brain imaging (MRI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy) and optical methods (multiphoton microscopy, optical coherence tomography), as well as new optical techniques. One chapter is dedicated to the use of artificial intelligence technologies, namely, machine learning, for medical diagnostics. AI approaches let scientists automatically classify images, distinguish between the norm and pathology, and verify diseases.

“MRI reacts to molecules more like water or contrast liquid. MRI spatial resolution is worse than what can be obtained by using optical methods,” Yuriy Kistenev explains. “Optical methods are more specific. By changing the wavelength of optical radiation, we can focus on particular parts of a brain like proteins or certain brain cells, and study them with more precision. For example, if we focus on proteins, we can discover more information on metabolic processes whose disruption leads to decline of cognitive functions and other pathologies.”

The target audience of the monograph is specialists in brain imaging. It contains condensed information on current developments in this narrow research field, and this information will help specialists effectively use new optical methods for brain research.

TSU scientists have developed molecular imaging technologies for more than 10 years along with leading research centers worldwide. In partnership with leading medical research institutions, TSU scientists have developed a number of new diagnostic methods for myocardial infarction, thyroid tumors, prostate cancer, and other diseases. The new instruments help identify pathologies earlier, which increases the patient’s chances for treatment, recovery, and quality of life.

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