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Imaging of BBB Abnormalities in Schizophrenia and other neurodegenerative diseases

Technology Number: 


Principal Investigator



Molecular Genetics

An MRI-based Non-invasive real-time depiction of Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) abnormalities that enables a wide range of diagnostic, therapeutic and drug development applications.
The BBB is a capillary barrier that protects the brain from fluctuations in blood chemistry and passage of certain particles between bloodstream and the brain. Selective delivery of compounds across the BBB by means of temporary/local BBB disruption is an emerging field. Therefore, means to monitor the BBB function non-invasively and in real-time are essential.Using existing MRI systems and state-of-the-art analytical tools, the methodology enables dynamic depiction of BBB physiological behavior, providing means to monitor changes in BBB permeability as wells as characterization of CNS pathologies. 


  • Assessment of CNS disorders – Diagnosis, Staging etc.

  • Monitoring the development of CNS disorders & response to treatment

  • Monitoring the effects of compounds or technologies on the BBB

  • Determine BBB function under certain physiological conditions  

  • Drug development:
    •  Modification of molecules to improve passage through the BBB.
    • Apply for the development of compounds/devices that affect BBB functioning.


  • Non-invasive, real-time, 3D depiction of BBB functioning

  • Sensitivity to slight BBB abnormalities, undetected by conventional MRI

  • Acquired in parallel to conventional MRI enabling high resolution anatomical depiction

  • Can be acquired on available conventional clinical/pre-clinical MR systems using conventional data acquisition software

Technology's Essence

A methodology for analyzing the blood-brain barrier’s behavior, based on a detectable standard dose of MRI contrast agent. The methodology uses plurality of MRI images acquired from a subject’s brain over a predetermined time period, in order to asses BBB function in a uniquely sensitive manner. The system offers a combination of a data acquisition protocol and an offline software package, operating as an “add-on” to existing MRI systems. The system compares series of MRI constructed intensity maps, using different metrics to sensitively detect dissimilarities. The output is BBB functioning maps, depicting regions of BBB abnormalities.

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