The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Research Platform at the Montreal General Hospital is an incomparable tool for researchers within and beyond the RI-MUHC
Concussions may not be identifiable from the outside, but people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries often suffer lingering effects that can affect their mood, cognitive functions or capacity to work.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an indispensable tool for furthering research related to concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI). It facilitates the non-invasive study of markers of health and disease, using advanced imaging of organs and the musculoskeletal system. Offering this essential tool to researchers is the mission of the state-of-the-art MGH-MRI Research Platform at the Montreal General Hospital (MGH) site of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC).
Notably, the RI-MUHC is home to a high-performance, research-grade 3 Tesla Siemens Prisma (3T) MRI, located in the MGH MRI Research Platform. Available for pre-clinical and clinical imaging, this user-operated facility supports a wide variety of MRI-related research projects. A highly skilled technician can provide direct, hands-on training for researchers and trainees, including fundamental principles of MRI and operation of the MRI system. The platform runs on an affordable subscription model, allowing users to acquire data regularly and predictably.
“Our customized MRI will allow for greater precision and increased resolution, which we hope will contribute to improving detection and characterization of traumatic brain injuries that may have escaped routine clinical imaging in the past.”
— MGH-MRI Platform director Reza Farivar, PhD
“Our customized MRI will allow for greater precision and increased resolution, which we hope will contribute to improving detection and characterization of traumatic brain injuries that may have escaped routine clinical imaging in the past,” says the platform director, Reza Farivar, PhD, a scientist in the Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience Program at the RI-MUHC. “This is important because the majority of people who experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) have symptoms that are classified as mild,” says Farivar. “However, many of them will experience headaches, dizziness, light sensitivity, visual discomfort, attention and memory issues, along with sleep issues and mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety. In a standard MRI, the majority of these patients do not show any abnormalities, but with the customized equipment in our MGH-MRI Research Platform, we hope to see the injuries that have been invisible so far.”
Uniquely, the MGH-MRI Research Platform eschews the traditional transactional model (pay per use) for an annual subscription model based on the needs of the researcher. Subscriptions are available in three tiers, with differences in Class A (high-demand) hours and Class B (low-demand) hours, and the option of purchasing additional Class A slots at a discount. Ten hours of expert consultation are available with each option. Researchers preferring a pay-per-use model may access the facility for an hourly fee. Further information about subscriptions is available on the platform’s webpage: MGH-MRI Research Platform Subscriptions.
“MRI is an indispensable neuroscience tool, but several factors have limited its use in research, including affordability of scan time, and limited opportunities for trainees to really learn and apply MRI principles,” says the platform manager, Paule Marcoux-Valiquette. “Our subscription model addresses these issues, allowing researchers to acquire data regularly and predictably at very low prices. Our rates can be as low as $150 per hour, instead of up to $550 per hour in other facilities. Our MRI Platform is user-operated, meaning research trainees can get direct, hands-on training on operating the MRI and learning basic MRI principles.”
The MGH-MRI Research Platform welcomes inquiries from researchers at the RI-MUHC and from other research organizations. Researchers are invited to contact email@example.com for any questions or visit the MGH-MRI Platform website for further information.