Kaur J, Davoodi-Bojd E, Fahmy LM, Zhang L, Ding G, Hu J, Zhang Z, Chopp M, and Jiang Q. Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Modeling of the Glymphatic System. Diagnostics (Basel) 2020; 10(6).
The glymphatic system is a newly discovered waste drainage pathway in the brain; it plays an important role in many neurological diseases. Ongoing research utilizing various cerebrospinal fluid tracer infusions, either directly or indirectly into the brain parenchyma, is investigating clearance pathways by using distinct imaging techniques. In the present review, we discuss the role of the glymphatic system in various neurological diseases and efflux pathways of brain waste clearance based on current evidence and controversies. We mainly focus on new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) modeling techniques, along with traditional computational modeling, for a better understanding of the glymphatic system function. Future sophisticated modeling techniques hold the potential to generate quantitative maps for glymphatic system parameters that could contribute to the diagnosis, monitoring, and prognosis of neurological diseases. The non-invasive nature of MRI may provide a safe and effective way to translate glymphatic system measurements from bench-to-bedside.