Carle and U of I partner to launch brain study; participants needed

Local News

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Thanks to a collaboration between Carle and the University of Illinois, a first of its kind imaging study will be conducted in Champaign-Urbana.

Officials said the Champaign-Urbana Population Study (CUPS) will use the new, jointly acquired unique technology, the Siemens MAGNETOM Terra 7 Tesla (7T) MRI to collect information about the brain’s structure and function across a diverse group of volunteers.

According to Tracey Wszalek, Ph.D., co-director of the Carle Illinois Advanced Imaging Center and director of the Biomedical Imaging Center at the University of Illinois, there are only 14 7T MRI machines in the United States. The 7T MRI machine used for this study is the only one in the state of Illinois. Tracey said the cutting-edge technologies utilized for CUPS are phenomenally safe, allowing the research team to see and interpret things that no other studies have been able to.

“This is huge because no one in the state of Illinois has this kind of access to the 7T – an incredibly safe tool that provides incredibly detailed images,” said Dr. Wszalek.

The research team anticipates the information collected will improve the understanding of brain health and support the translation of technology to improve clinical outcomes.

According to officials, the study needs 300 local, volunteers ages 18 and older to participate. Participation includes an up-to three-year commitment, and volunteers will also complete several questionnaires about their health, medical history and physical activity. They will also participate in a brief cognitive function assessment and have up to three, 2-hour brain scans at the Carle Illinois Advanced Imaging Center. Participants’ traveling expenses for the study will be covered.

“We are very excited to be conducting this study with those who live in or near the Champaign-Urbana area. Those who participate will be able to say they contributed to research making a difference in so many lives locally, nationally and internationally,” said Bruce Damon, Ph.D., co-director of Carle Illinois Advanced Imaging Center and director of Clinical Imaging Research for the Stephens Family Clinical Research Institute at Carle Health.

To learn more about the research team or to volunteer to be part of this study, please visit the Champaign-Urbana Population Study website.

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