UCLA Neurovascular Imaging Core: Seeing Inside Every Brain to Improve Brain Health

Summer 2017

Maps of brain blood vessels that are used to generate blood flow images

Comparing the brain of one person to an entire population through advanced imaging can guide the treatment of many brain disorders, from dementia to stroke. Through the UCLA Neurovascular Imaging Research Core, under the direction of David Liebeskind, M.D., Professor of Neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, UCLA has amassed the world’s largest collection of brain images from both clinical trials and routine clinical practice.

This powerful tool has enabled Dr. Liebeskind and his team to use imaging information for precision medicine therapies. By leveraging these images, neurologists can draw conclusions about individual variability within a larger population, saving lives and improving outcomes for patients with brain disorders, including cerebrovascular disease and stroke.

Extensive Images and Data: Million Brains Initiative

Dr. Liebeskind and his team have extracted significant amounts of detailed longitudinal data from imaging procedures, including information and metadata derived from years of digital information banking from more than 30 countries. By collecting and organizing scans from scientists across the world, Dr. Liebeskind is creating a united, collaborative research front bringing improved prevention, diagnosis, and treatment techniques to the global population.


To support and accelerate brain imaging and precision medicine, Dr. Liebeskind and his team built software called StrokeCloud. Its secure mechanism enables local and international physician-scientists to upload and send anonymous clinical data and images to UCLA. For the most significant analysis and conclusions to be drawn, the imaging and detailed clinical information must be housed in one central and correctly organized repository. Dr. Liebeskind is the first to pursue this advanced technology to maximize the use of data amassed on a global scale.

StrokeCloud allows for deep dimensional analysis from a big-picture perspective and enables the diffusion of knowledge stemming from UCLA discoveries to doctors and patients worldwide. Quantitative measures of serial imaging follow patients as they age; empower scientists to analyze intra-individual comparisons long-term; and hold the greatest promise for preventing, diagnosing, and treating stroke in young to midlife adults.