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Abstract #3343

High field imaging of large-scale neurotransmitter networks: concepts, graph theoretical metrics, and preliminary results

Tamar M van Veenendaal1,2, Desmond HY Tse1,3, Tom WJ Scheenen4, Dennis W Klomp5, Dominique M IJff2,6, Paul AM Hofman1,2,6, Rob PW Rouhl2,6,7, Marielle CG Vlooswijk2,6,7, Albert P Aldenkamp2,6,7, Walter H Backes1,2, and Jacobus FA Jansen1,2

1Departments of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, Netherlands, 2School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands, 3Department of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands, 4Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, Netherlands, 5Department of Radiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands, 6Epilepsy Center Kempenhaeghe, Heeze, Netherlands, 7Department of Neurology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, Netherlands

Many studies are performed to assess structural or functional brain connectivity. However, these studies do not provide direct information on neurochemical imbalances, which underlie abnormal neuronal functioning. In this study, the concept of ‘large-scale neurotransmitter networks’ is proposed. The spatial neurotransmitter network was assessed in fifteen healthy participants who underwent 7T MR spectroscopic imaging. The average glutamate and GABA concentrations were computed in thirty brain regions, which were considered connected if the concentrations showed a significant correlation over all thirty participants. Both glutamate and GABA networks showed small-world characteristics, but further exploration of this concept is currently ongoing.

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