PROJECT: JTC2021 - Neurodevelopmental Disorders: MULTI-FACT

Multi-centric study of Fetal Abnormal Cortical Trajectory with standardised and privacy-preserving method on fetal MRI


Abnormal neurodevelopment (ND) affects approximately 1 in 10 children, potentially leading to neurological disabilities and associated major personal, family and socio-economical costs. In about two thirds of these, changes in brain development are detectable before birth. However, often neurological abnormalities including neurobehavioral and cognitive disorders will only be detected later in childhood. This late diagnosis reduces the opportunity for early intervention and therefore increases the impact in later life. There are several conditions that are related with higher risk of abnormal ND including intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) as well as Corpus Callosum Agenesis (CCA) Quantitative analysis of the fetal brain in-utero using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) offers a unique opportunity for improved clinical decision-making and understanding of early brain development. The main goal of MULTI-FACT is to develop tools for the quantification of abnormal cortical development from fetal MRI. These MRI-based biomarkers will enable(1) assessment of the efficacy of intervention for IUGR;(2) improved diagnosis and prognosis for CCA;and (3) population stratification using imaging and multi-omics data to better understand the most relevant causes of abnormal cortical development and its progression with age. To realize the goal, Multi-FACT will develop innovative AI-based technologies for image reconstruction, analysis and interpretation on multi-centric large-dataset.


Imaging techniques, Computational neurosciences, Patient cohorts, Fetal MRI, cortical development, multi-centric study, standardisation, federated approaches

Call topic

Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Proposed runtime

n/a - n/a

Project team

Elisenda Eixarch (Coordinator)
Spain (ISCIII)
Meritxell Bach Cuadra
Switzerland (SNSF)
Guillaume Auzias
France (ANR)
Gemma Piella
Spain (AEI)
Daniel Rueckert
Germany (BMBF)

Lay summary