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Abstract #0570

Functional connectome of autonomic, limbic, nociceptive, and sensory brainstem nuclei using 7 Tesla resting-state fMRI in living humans

Simone Cauzzo1,2, Kavita Singh2, Matthew Stauder2, Maria Guadalupe Garcia Gomar2, Nicola Vanello3, Claudio Passino1,4, Jeffrey Staab5,6, Iole Indovina7,8, and Marta Bianciardi2
1Life Sciences Institute, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, 2Brainstem Imaging Laboratory, Department of Radiology, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States, 3Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Informazione, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, 4Fondazione Toscana Gabriele Monasterio, Pisa, Italy, 5Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States, 6Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States, 7Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences and Morphofunctional Imaging, University of Messina, Messina, Italy, 8Laboratory of Neuromotor Physiology, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, Roma, Italy

With the goal of bridging the gap between cortical and subcortical (e.g. brainstem) functional connectomes and of defining a baseline for clinical studies, we computed the resting-state functional connectivity maps of 15 brainstem nuclei involved in central autonomic, limbic, nociceptive and sensory functions. We used images acquired with 7 Tesla MRI on a group of 20 healthy subjects and a recently generated probabilistic atlas of brainstem nuclei. We obtained highly significant and stable links with a good overlap with the literature. Our results also provide favorable results on the translatability of our brainstem connectome approach to conventional 3 Tesla data-sets.

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