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Abstract #4674

Motor-task based fMRI of the spinal cord reveals neural activity in gray matter horns

Satoshi Maki1, Benjamin N. Conrad1, Robert L. Barry2,3, Lydia J. McKeithan1, John C. Gore1,4, and Seth A. Smith1,4

1Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, Nashville, TN, United States, 2Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, United States, 3Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, United States, 4Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States

In spinal cord functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, localization of functional activation is still limited due to low signal to noise ratio and low spatial resolution. We studied blood oxygen level dependent signal changes in individual gray matter horns of the cervical spinal cord using a 3D gradient-echo sequence for fMRI during an upper extremity motor task. Visualization and delineation of neural activity in gray matter of cervical spinal cord elicited by the motor task was successfully demonstrated at fine spatial scales suggesting the potential for noninvasive monitoring of spinal cord function.

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