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Abstract #3401

Ex-vivo visualization of the human trigeminal pathways using 11.7T  diffusion MRI and unique microscopy data

Dylan Henssen1,2, Jeroen Mollink1,3, Erkan Kurt2, Jules Janssen Daalen4, Robert van Dongen5, Ronald Bartels2, Tamas Kozicz1, and Anne-Marie van Cappellen van Walsum1

1Department of Anatomy, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition & Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, Netherlands, 2Department of Neurosurgery, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, Netherlands, 3Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, 4Faculty of Medical Sciences, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands, 5Department of Anesthesiology, Pain and Palliative Care, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, Netherlands

To optimize neuromodulation therapy of orofacial pain, a more profound insight in the trigeminal pathways in the human brainstem is of crucial importance. Using ex-vivo, 11.7T magnetic resonance imaging, polarized light microscopy and myelin staining methods, both the ventral and dorsal trigeminothalamic tracts can be visualized in humans. The combination of these visualization techniques strengthens the validity of these findings although the number of specimens forms a limitation. Future research must show whether these results are reproducible in more human brains and whether the described tracts could lead to new neuromodulation targets for the treatment of orofacial pain.

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