Diffusion MRI: The Methods

Skill level: Intermediate - Advanced
Jeffry R. Alger, Ph.D., Alan Connelly, Ph.D., and Derek K. Jones, Ph.D., Organizers

Saturday, 19th May


This one-day course covers intermediate to advanced topics in diffusion MRI. The underlying theory and biophysical underpinnings will be discussed. Techniques for encoding and acquiring MR data suitable for diffusion quantification will be described, together with comparisons/critiques of methods for subsequent post-acquisition analysis. Pitfalls and artifacts will be covered and emerging research areas/cutting edge
techniques highlighted and explained.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:
Explain the theoretical basis and biophysical underpinnings of diffusion-based MR techniques;
Compare and contrast the different approaches to encoding and acquiring MR data for quantification of diffusion in vivo;
Select the appropriate imaging sequence for a diffusion-based imaging study;
Recognize the influence of exchange on diffusion measurements;
List the types of artifacts found in diffusion image data and recognize limitations of diffusion imaging techniques;
Describe the current approaches to fiber tracking, including the problems associated with resolving multiple fiber directions and their potential solutions;
Understand the issues associated with parametric and non-parametric approaches to voxel based analysis of diffusion data; and
Evaluate the potential role of diffusion imaging in detecting neuronal activation.

Audience Description

This course is designed for:
Anyone who wants to develop a solid understanding of diffusion MR imaging techniques.
It is especially designed for Ph.D. candidates, postdoctoral students, and residents who have knowledge of MR physics that includes basic
  concepts such as phase, k-space, etc., and who are facile with basic calculus.
It would also benefit researchers who have expertise in limited aspects of diffusion imaging, and who wish to develop a more rounded
  knowledge base in this area.
08:30 Theory of diffusion Peter J. Basser, PhD.
09:00 Biophysical underpinnings of diffusion  Christian Beaulieu, Ph.D.
09:30 Exchange - and its effect on diffusion measurements Charles Springer, Jr., Ph.D.
10:00 Pulse sequences  James G. Pipe, Ph.D.
10:30 Break - Meet The Teachers    
11:00 Tensor encoding / decoding  Derek K. Jones, Ph.D.
11:30 Extracting statistical distributions of diffusion parameters Brandon J. Whitcher, Ph.D.
12:00 Artefacts and their remediation  Carlo Pierpaoli, M.D.
12:30 Break    
12:30 - 12:45 - Meet the Teachers    
14:00 Q-space: Restricted diffusion and tissue microstructure  Yaniv Assaf, Ph.D.
14:30 Resolving crossing fibers (HARDI)  Jacques-Donald Tournier, M.Sc.
15:00  Fiber tracking  Geoffrey J.M. Parker, Ph.D.
15:30 Break - Meet The Teachers    
16:00 Clustering of tracts  Alexander Leemans, M.Sc.
16:30 Tracking based segmentation  Timothy E.J. Behrens, D.Phil.
17:00 Voxel based analyses of diffusion data  Stephen M. Smith, D. Phil.
17:30 Functional diffusion imaging  Denis Le Bihan, M.D., Ph.D.
18:00 Adjournment    
18:00 - 18:15 Meet the Teachers