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Abstract #1812

Probabilistic structural atlas of human ventral tegmental area, mesencephalic and isthmic reticular formation using in-vivo 7 Tesla MRI

KAVITA SINGH1, María Guadalupe García-Gomar1, and Marta Bianciardi1
1Brainstem Imaging Laboratory, Department of Radiology, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States

Human ventral tegmental area and its parabrachial pigmented nucleus are involved in attention, memory, reward, drug abuse, and motivation. Mesencephalic and isthmic reticular formation nuclei are implicated in the control of head/eye movement and position. Currently, their assessment in radiological investigations is difficult due to the limited-resolution and contrast of clinical MRI. We precisely delineated these nuclei on 7 Tesla MRI of healthy humans and generated a validated in-vivo stereotaxic probabilistic atlas of these structures. Upon coregistration to clinical MRI, this atlas might improve the evaluation of lesions and assessment of connectivity pathways underlying clinical conditions relating to these nuclei.

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