The URIS study (Ultra-high Resolution Imaging of the Subcortex) is a collaborative effort between GGZ inGeest, Amsterdam UMC (VUmc and AMC), Amsterdam Neuroscience and SPINOZA. URIS aims to unravel subregional perturbations in structural/functional/ connectional characteristics of deep-lying subcortical systems relevant to MDD. The study aims to include at least ±25 MDD patients and ±25 healthy controls, with all of them undergoing 7-Tesla MRI scanning, as well as clinical (i.e., interviews/questionnaires) and biological (i.e., (epi)genetics) phenotyping.
Despite notable advances in recent years, neuropathological mechanisms underlying Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) are still poorly comprehended and this has lagged treatment development significantly. Whereas key subcortical brain regions and their major subnuclei are theorized in animal and theoretical models of affective psychopathology, commonly available neuroimaging techniques lack the resolution to accurately probe the structural, functional, and connectional integrity of these territories. This tends to preclude a fine-grained, modular understanding of key subcortical brain systems in MDD, and greatly limit translational and clinical utility of findings on the topic.
It is anticipated though that the use of ultra-high resolution MRI protocols (≥7 Tesla) will tackle these challenges, and allow for mesoscopic level of detail to formulate more plausible neurobiological models of MDD. Despite its undeniable merits, however, studies employing ultra-high resolution imaging in MDD are largely lacking, owing to the technical and financial resources needed to acquire and operate high field MRI machines. The URIS study (Ultra-high Resolution Imaging of the Subcortex) was therefore set up to specifically address these issues.
Dr. Moji Aghajani, Principal Investigator URIS
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