Novel Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) Technique to Quantify Brain Metabolites

With respect to quantification of metabolites in the brain, conventional methods of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) yield results that are highly variable and highly dependent on the sequence type being applied. This invention describes a novel MRS technique that involves preparing longitudinal steady states at different flip angles using trains of RF pulses interspersed with field gradients to quantify metabolites. The method allows quantification of metabolites and their relaxation rates under specified parameters, which may create new ways of analyzing and interpreting tissue properties or identifying and characterizing diseases of the human brain, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, cancer, and psychiatric diseases. In addition, due to the linear feature (equation), the quantification of metabolites and their relaxation rates in the brain can be achieved several times faster than conventional techniques, especially for quantification of glutamate (neuronexcitatory) and lactate (important cancer and stroke biomarker).

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Non-invasive MRS diagnostic imaging
  • Ability to measure metabolite relaxation under specific parameters
  • Allows fast quantification of glutamate (neuroexcitatory) and lactate (cancer and stroke biomarkers)
  • Can be optimized to eliminate baseline interference from overlapping metabolite signals
  • Minimizes diffusion effect associated with physiological movement


Linqing Li (NIMH)  ➽ more inventions...

Jun Shen (NIMH)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Pat: - issued -
PCT Application No. PCT/US2018/054340 filed on 2018-10-04

Li L, et al. PMID 28940581

Collaboration Opportunity:

The National Institute of Mental Health is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) methods. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Linqing Li, Ph.D. at

Licensing Contact:
Anton Dawson, Ph.D.
Phone: 301-496-6784

OTT Reference No: E-206-2017-0
Updated: May 23, 2018