Collaboration in Networks
MAGNIMS (Magnetic Resonance Network in Multiple Sclerosis) is a European network of academics, who share a common interest in the study of MS using magnetic resonance imaging techniques. This group has been working since 1990 and has collectively made a major contribution to defining the role of MRI in diagnosing and monitoring treatment in MS (http://www.magnims.eu/). The MRI Analysis and Research Center in Neuroimaging and Multiple Sclerosis (CARM) has been active within MAGNIMS, and Dr. Alex Rovira and Dr. Xavier Montalban are members of its Steering Committee.
REEM (Red Española de Esclerosis Múltiple, Spanish Network for Multiple Sclerosis). (Redes Temáticas de Investigación Cooperativa en Salud (RETICS) Instituto Carlos III. Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia. (http://www.reem.es/). REEM is a Spanish network of academics for the study of multiple sclerosis. REEM is an initiative funded by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, whose main objective is to promote cooperative studies and share knowledge about MS in Spanish centers.
Ciberehd (Centro de investigación biomédica en red de enfermedades hepáticas y digestivas, Network for Biomedical Research in Hepatic and Gastrointestinal Diseases). Ciberehd is a consortium dedicated to enhancing and protecting health by promoting research (www.ciberehd.org). This includes basic research as well as clinical and translational research on hepatic and gastrointestinal tract diseases. A major aim of this activity is to achieve innovations in the prevention of these illnesses and to promote scientific and healthcare advances. Currently, Ciberehd contains around 60 research groups located all over Spain and distributed in 6 large research areas. One investigator from our unit is integrated in the Ciberehd network headed by Dr. J. Córdoba of the Hospital Vall d'Hebron Internal Medicinal Department. The goals of this team are to study treatment for hepatic encephalopathy and obtain information on the pathophysiology of this condition. This work is being carried out in studies in humans and in experimental models of hepatic encephalopathy, in which the information provided by MR techniques is proving to be extremely valuable.
Collaboration with other Institutions
To improve our research possibilities, we have established collaborations with other research groups with experience in fields that are complementary to our activity. This has allowed us to develop additional research projects:
Autonomous University of Barcelona (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona). The basis of our collaboration depends on the project and our needs. A project investigating the possibility to differentiate between pseudotumoral demyelinating lesions and other focal lesions by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy is being conducted through collaboration with Prof. Carles Arús of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, who has extensive experience in the development of MRS classifiers, and Dr. Carles Majòs from the Magnetic Resonance Unit of Bellvitge Hospital (IDI, Institute for Diagnostic Imaging), who has made available his database of tumor spectra. A metabolomic study to differentiate between the different courses of MS by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy of cerebrospinal fluid samples is ongoing in collaboration with Miquel Cabañas of the Magnetic Resonance Department of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
Technical University of Catalonia. For the last several years, we have been collaborating with Prof. Eduard Montseny and Dr. Pilar Sobrevilla of the Automatic Control Department (ESAII) in the Technical University of Catalonia in various projects in the computer vision area. This effort is mainly focused on the application of algorithms to the analysis of MR images.
Girona University (Universitat de Girona). The detection and quantification of lesions in the brain of patients with MS are important factors for the management of this population. For this reason, we are taking part in a project led by Drs. X. Lladó and J. Freixenet of the Computer and Robotic Vision group (Visió per Computador I Robòtica) of Universitat de Girona together with experts from Clínica Girona and the University Hospital Josep Trueta, focussed on developing a software prototype that allows automatic segmentation of MS lesions and evaluation of atrophy using T1-, T2-, PD- and FLAIR-weighted images.