Technical advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy
(MRS) have provided researchers with the opportunity to study changes of the central nervous
system (CNS) and improve diagnosis and therapy of CNS disease. New MRI and MRS techniques
specifically designed for functional MRI (fMRI) and MRS imaging of the CNS will be evaluated
in normal volunteers and in patients with CNS diseases. This study will develop and evaluate
new magnetic resonance pulse sequences for performing MRI or MRS and compare the results to
existing MR techniques.
Patients and volunteers age 18 and older are eligible for the study. A history will be taken
in which exclusion criteria (such as having a pacemaker or cochlear implants) will be
addressed, and a pregnancy test will be administered to women of childbearing age. Each
subject will also be asked to fill out a questionnaire.
Study participants will lie in the MRI scanner from 20 minutes to 2 hours. A coil may be
placed on the head and participants may be asked to do simple or complex tasks. A catheter
will be placed in an arm vein and a contrast agent will be administered. This agent will
allow structures in the brain to show up more clearly.
Technical advances in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
(MRS) have provided researchers with the opportunity to study functional and metabolic
changes of the central nervous system (CNS) in both normal individuals and individuals with
neurological diseases in response to sensory, motor or cognitive stimulation. New MRI and
MRS techniques specifically designed for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging of the CNS will be evaluated at 1.5 and/or at 4.0
Tesla on normal volunteers and in patients with CNS pathology.
Any normal volunteer age 18 and over who is capable of giving informed consent.
For the purposes of evaluating new techniques for fMRI, patients will be considered the
same as volunteers.
A subject will be excluded if he/she has a contraindication to MR scanning such as the
following: aneurysm clip; implanted neural stimulator; implanted cardiac pacemaker or
autodefibrillator; cochlear implant; ocular foreign body or implant (e.g., metal shavings,
retinal clips); breast implants or Insulin pump.
Subjects who have a history of a reaction to MR contrast agents specifically gadopentetate
dimeglumine will be excluded from participating in the contrast agent administration part
of this protocol. The contraindications to MRI at 1.5 Tesla and 4 Tesla are identical.