Neuroimaging research

Neuroimaging research


Group leader

Massimo Filippi


The Neuroimaging Research Unit is an international research centre, part of the Institute of Experimental Neurology, operating since 20 years. This unit currently comprises a multidisciplinary team including neurologists, neuroscientists, post-Docs, bioengineers, PhD students, residents in neurology, technicians and data-managers. The mission is to foster state-of-the-art neuroimaging research to identify and understand the processes that are associated with central nervous system (CNS) changes in normal aging and damage in diseased individuals.

Using structural MRI (conventional and non-conventional MRI, such as diffusion tensor imaging), the Unit is able to quantify tissue damage of macroscopic lesions, normal appearing white matter, normal appearing gray matter, spinal cord and optic nerve. Moreover, it is possible to assess the brain reorganization leading either to recovery of neurological functions or to persistent disability.

Research activity

Research interests are focused on the early detection, differential diagnosis, and monitoring progression in many neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS) and allied white matter diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, Parkinson’s disease and atypical parkinsonisms, vascular disorders, and migraine.

Neuroimaging research Unit has contributed to develop diagnostic criteria for MS, which are used globally, and uses MRI techniques to assess the efficacy of therapies in daily practice and treatment trials. During these years, the Unit also contributed to the definition of guidelines for the acquisition and the analysis of MRI sequences in the framework of longitudinal multicentre studies, and the development of new imaging acquisition protocols.