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Sodium Imaging in neurodegenerative disorders

Primary supervisor

David Wright


Sodium ions play a central role in membrane transport and cell homeostasis. Increased sodium concentration has been observed in brain tumors as well as neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease. While 23Na MRI of the human brain was first performed over 20 years ago, the low concentration of 23Na compared to 1H and rapid T2 decay resulted in low signal to noise (SNR) and long acquisition times, limiting its diagnostic feasibility. Recent advances in MR technology including the move to higher field strengths (e.g. 9.4T) and ultra-short echo-time sequences, has rekindled interest in 23Na imaging. 

Student cohort

Single Semester
Double Semester


We aim to investigate changes in sodium concentration levels following injury and assess the viability of 23Na MRI as an imaging biomarker for guiding recovery and return-to-play decisions. This project has great potential for future expansion into other clinically relevant models of neurodegenerative disease. For more information contact supervisors ( Please note, the Wright group is based in the Neuroscience Department at the Alfred campus (99 Commercial rd, Melbourne 3004) 


Required knowledge

Python, Matlab