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Abstract #2024

Probabilistic structural atlas and connectome of brainstem nuclei involved in arousal and sleep by 7 Tesla MRI in living humans

Maria Guadalupe Garcia Gomar1, Kavita Singh1, and Marta Bianciardi1
1Radiology, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States, Charlestown, MA, United States

Brainstem nuclei such as the medullary reticular formation, raphe nuclei, pontine nuclei, locus coeruleus and subcoeruleus, among others, play a crucial role in arousal and sleep. Despite their involvement in critical functions, their study in living humans is challenging due to limited resolution and contrast of conventional MRI. First, we precisely delineated nine arousal/sleep brainstem nuclei in 7 Tesla MRI of healthy humans and generated their validated in-vivo stereotaxic probabilistic atlas. Second, we evaluated their structural connectivity using 7 Tesla High-Angular-Resolution-Diffusion-Imaging and probabilistic tractography. This atlas and connectome might help evaluating disorders of consciousness, sleep disorders and neurological disorders.

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