The purpose of this investigation is to develop improved magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
techniques and hardware for studying brain function. MRI is a diagnostic tool that provides
information about brain chemistry and physiology. This study will evaluate new MRI methods
for monitoring blood flow to regions of the brain in response to simple tasks. The MRI
machine used in this study is more powerful than those in most hospitals, permitting a higher
Normal healthy volunteers over 18 years old may be eligible for this study. Candidates will
be screened with a medical history and questionnaire, and a neurological examination. Study
participants will have a yearly MRI scan. For this procedure, the subject lies on a stretcher
that is moved into a donut-shaped machine with a strong magnetic field. A lightweight
circular or rectangular coil a device that improves the quality of the images may be placed
on the head. The scan time varies from 20 minutes to 3 hours; most scans last between 45 and
90 minutes. During the scan, the subject may perform simple tasks, such as listening to
tapes, tapping a finger, moving a hand, watching a screen, or smelling a fragrance. More
complex tasks may require thinking about tones or pictures and responding to them by pressing
Information from this study will be used to develop better imaging methods that will, in
turn, permit a greater understanding of normal and abnormal brain behaviors.
The goal of this protocol is to improve the spatial resolution and sensitivity in MRI studies
of the changes in hemodynamics that occur in the central nervous system (CNS) in healthy
controls in response to sensory, motor, or cognitive stimulation.
CNS functional changes will be characterized by measuring blood flow, blood transit time, and
blood oxygenation. These studies are required in order to develop and implement new imaging
techniques for research and clinical applications on the 3.0T and 7.0T MRI. A secondary goal
is to evaluate the feasibility to combine brain recording techniques, electro-encephalography
(EEG) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG), with MRI.
Techniques will be developed for anatomical and spectroscopic MRI that can take advantage of
7T field strength, extending parallel imaging strategies to 7T to realize the full gain in
sensitivity. The aim is to obtain very high resolution anatomical MRI, high temporal and
spatial resolution blood oxygenation (BOLD) and blood flow (perfusion) images, and
spectroscopic studies of metabolites of the brain. All of these techniques will be performed
on normal, healthy volunteers.
Any healthy, male or female volunteer between 18-65 years of age; the subjects must be
capable of understanding the procedures and requirements of this study and be willing to sign
an informed consent document.
The is a technical development study design to develop and evaluate new MR pulse sequences
and hardware for performing MRI and functional MRI in the CNS at 3.0T and 7T with a high
The primary outcome of this study will be the ability to acquire anatomical and functional
images of the human brain with high spatial resolution, i.e. 100-300 micron and 750-1000
micron respectively. The relative merits of blood flow and BOLD fMRI techniques, and their
particular signal characteristics will be established. In addition, we anticipate the ability
to acquire (proton) spectroscopic data at 5mm resolution. Another outcome will be the ability
to acquire artifact-free EEG data concurrently with the functional MRI data.
- INCLUSION CRITERIA:
- 18-65 years of age
- in good general health
- able to understand the procedures and requirements and give informed consent
All Subjects will answer the NMR safety screening form (Appendix C) and the
Healthy volunteer form (Appendix B). A subject will be excluded if he/she:
- has any implanted medical device -
- underwent brain surgery, has a central nervous system illness, a neurological lesion
or history of neurological or psychiatric disorders (defined by the DSM-5)
- has any medical problems such as, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, pulmonary or
airway disease, heart failure, coronary artery disease, and history of sleep apnea.
- has a diagnosable substance dependence
- has any metal in their body due to by trauma or surgery
- cannot lie comfortably for up to 120 minutes
- is pregnant
- has sustained shrapnel injuries
- has worked as a machinist, or other occupations that have resulted in metal shavings
in their eye
- has claustrophobia
- has recurrent migraines that require medication
The contraindications to MRI at both 3.0 T and 7T are almost identical, except the 7T also
excludes ferromagnetic dental bridges and/or crowns.