From depression and schizophrenia to Alzheimer’s disease and addiction, our state-of-the-art imaging facility enables researchers to probe the brain to better understand mental illness and advance treatments.
A Leader in Brain Imaging
As one of the few brain imaging centres in the world fully dedicated to research on mental illness, including addiction, the CAMH Research Imaging Centre leads the way globally in giving scientists the ability to see new paths in the brain chemistry structure, function and behaviour in mental illness. But when it comes to unlocking the mysteries of the brain, there is so much more to see.
Our scientists use an integrated approach to study the brain with PET, MRI and genetics, working on collaborative projects with investigators within CAMH, throughout the University of Toronto neuroscience community, and beyond, to bring hope to patients with mental illnesses, their families and the community.
Dr. Sylvain Houle, Director, Research Imaging Centre and Preclinical Research
For over 25 years, our work in positron emission tomography (PET) research has had a major global impact in understanding brain chemistry, leading to better clinical treatment and drug development. In the last few years, we have significantly expanded our imaging capabilities into magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). We are also combining the use of imaging with genetic markers.
Our researchers combine technologies in novel ways to better understand how mental disorders develop and affect brain function. This in turn leads to more effective interventions and treatment, and better outcomes for patients.
Our team at the Research Imaging Centre have developed several imaging radiotracers used in PET brain research globally. Using these chemical brain imaging tools, our research has helped to more accurately calculate medication doses for depression and schizophrenia, identified targets for treatments of illnesses such as postpartum depression, and enabled academic centres and pharmaceutical companies to conduct more effective drug development.
We are also pursuing the development of radiotracers to discover chemical brain markers that could identify the risk of illnesses, such as schizophrenia, before they develop, with the goal of helping with early interventions.
Our Scientific Staff
Meet the scientists working to make a difference through brain imaging.