Developing Methods to Assess Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow Velocity in the Glymphatic Pathways
Gavin Britz, MD
& Eugene Golanov, MD, PhD

Researchers recently discovered that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) plays a critical role in removing brain waste and toxic materials linked with dementia. CSF flow is hindered in various brain pathological conditions. While major glymphatic/cleansing pathways are located along the major arteries, CSF flow was traditionally measured in the Sylvian aqueduct, a different domain of cerebrospinal circulation. Britz, Golanov, and Christof Karmonik, PhD, are developing new methods for measuring CSF flow using the latest Siemens 7 Tesla MAGNETOM Terra MRI scanner to explore CSF flow hindrance in the glymphatic pathways and its role in the development in various neuropathologies, including traumatic brain injury.

Techniques and Machine Learning Methodologies to Systematically Detect Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries
Gavin Britz, MD, MPA, MPH
& Behnaam Aazhang, PhD

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) is the most common type of brain injury. If undiagnosed, mTBI may lead to various short and long-term abnormalities, which include, but are not limited to, impaired cognitive function, fatigue, depression, irritability and headaches. Existing screening and diagnostic tools to detect acute and early-stage mTBI have insufficient sensitivity and specificity. Therefore, it is important to identify relevant physiological biomarkers that can be integrated into a mutually complementary set using contemporary machine learning tools and data processing methodologies to provide on-site diagnostic of mTBI. Center investigators, led by Britz and Aazhang are developing new mTBI diagnostic tools and respective portable devices that could be employed in the field.

New Sensing Methods to Quickly Detect Biochemical and Biophysical Markers of Unconventionally Acquired Brain Injury
Lan Luan, PhD

Unconventionally acquired brain injury (UBI) from focused ultrasound and electromagnetic sources have become an emerging threat to service members and diplomats. As a result, it has become critical to understand the immediate physiological responses to UBI so that real-time monitoring and intervention systems can be developed to detect and treat these injuries promptly. Luan and Sonia Villapol, PhD are working to identify critical biochemical and biophysical markers that respond within seconds to UBI from militarily relevant energy sources and determine if the identified first biological responders depend on the energy source. Specifically, they will successfully integrate high-speed electrical, optical and chemical sensing methods that will enable the detection of many biochemical and biophysical markers within milliseconds to seconds following UBI in vitro and in vivo.