MS image database launched to complement MSBase

Multiple sclerosis

By Michael Woodhead

1 Jun 2021

3D segmentation of MS lesions from a patient with relapsing and remitting disease. Dr Tim Wang/SNAC

A global MS image database has been launched in Australia to complement MSBase, the world’s largest clinical MS patient registry.

The MSBase Imaging Repository (MSBIR) is a repository of curated de-identified MRI scans of MS patients’ brains that will be accessible to researchers worldwide, according to its developers at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre, along with MSBase and the Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre (SNAC).

The developers say the image database will store raw imaging data for MS patients from multiple sites globally and integrate state-of-the-art informatics with an AI analytics engine, fostering a new generation of imaging biomarkers for precision monitoring of MS.

“Imaging biomarkers support earlier diagnostics and this is the first time MS imaging data has been coordinated on this scale,” said Professor Michael Barnett, project lead in the Computational Neuroimaging team at the Brain and Mind Centre.

“MSBIR will significantly enhance real-world MS imaging research, provide AI-based quantitative MRI metrics to participating researchers, and facilitate multi-centre advanced MS imaging research previously not possible.”

“Research makes great leaps when we collaborate – MSBIR globalises our efforts to advance and fast-track real-world clinical-imaging research in the field of MS,” he added.

The MRI image database has been under development for the past 18 months and will complement the MSBase registry that has clinical data from more than 75,000 patients, said MSBase Foundation Fellow, Dr Heidi Beadnall.

“The MSBIR platform has enormous potential in providing MS researchers with significantly greater access to large volumes of imaging data,” said Dr Beadnall.

”Paired with detailed clinical information, this can assist in increasing future knowledge about MS diagnosis, monitoring and management.

“We are thrilled to see this platform come to life and grateful to the collaborators and sponsors who made this possible, especially the people who live with MS and their clinicians who participate in research – without their support we would not be able to make such great strides in MS discovery.”

Professor Helmut Butzkueven, Managing Director of MSBase Foundation, congratulated those involved in the ambitious and exciting project.

“This repository will power state-of-the-art research that can almost immediately be translated into better care and better outcomes for people with MS,” said Professor Butzkueven, who also heads the Department of Neuroscience at Monash University.

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