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Abstract #2237

Resting State Functional Connectivity in the Human Spinal Cord at 7 Tesla

Robert L. Barry1, 2, Seth A. Smith1, 2, John C. Gore, 23

1Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, Nashville, TN, United States; 2Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States; 3Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States

The existence of resting state functional connectivity is well established in the brain, but to date there have been no conclusive investigations in the spinal cord. The advent of 7 Tesla scanners and implementation of multichannel spine coils along with appropriate image acquisitions and corrections provide new opportunities for high-resolution spinal fMRI. This abstract represents the first demonstration of high-resolution resting state functional connectivity in the human spinal cord. Future work will investigate spinal functional connectivity in patients with multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, and translate these methods down to 3 Tesla to facilitate widespread development of clinical applications.