COVID-19 Survivors Assessed with Diffusion MRI and Artificial Intelligence

Photo with MRI of a human brain and a closeup of a covid-19 virus. The background is white.

COVID-19 infection is a new disease posing numerous clinical questions that will be investigated by the research community in the coming years. Of interest to us are the neurological symptoms experienced by some survivors, which have a significant impact on their quality of life.

In this project, funded by Analytic Imaging Diagnostics Arena (AIDA), we intend to employ state-of-the-art MRI methods sensitized to random movements of water molecules for assessing microstructural alterations associated with the infection and/or its treatment. To this end, we employ a new microstructure-sensitive diffusion MRI technique, which has not been fully incorporated into clinical practice. Our goal is to obtain more detailed information on the tissue structure and hopefully elucidate some of the pathogenesis of COVID-19 on the central nervous system. In this endeavour, artificial intelligence, AI, will play an important role by enabling the visualization of the intravoxel tissue composition probed by diffusion MRI.

The development of the data analysis framework including the visualization of the diffusion MRI data will facilitate the translation of the technique into clinical use, making it available for studying other clinical challenges.