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Abstract #4472

Redundancy of arousal brainstem structural connectivity pathways in humans by 7 Tesla HARDI

María Guadalupe García-Gomar1, Kavita Singh1, and Marta Bianciardi1
1Department of Radiology, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States

Arousal plays a crucial role in wakefulness/sleep, autonomic function, affect and attention. Recent meta-analysis of rat neuroanatomical macroconnectome based on pathway-tracing studies showed redundancy of arousal mechanism through the presence of multiple connectivity pathways and of high interconnectivity among arousal brainstem nuclei. Using 7 Tesla HARDI MRI and a recently developed brainstem nuclei atlas, we build the structural connectome of brainstem arousal nuclei in living humans. In line with rat studies, this connectome showed high redundancy through the presence of multiple interconnected pathways. This connectome might be used to better understand arousal and its impairment.

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