EnglishDeutsch

Locus Coeruleus Probability Map

Non-invasive, in-vivo assessments of human locus coeruleus (LC) integrity are notoriously difficult, given the nucleus’ small size and location deep in the brainstem. However, over the lifespan neuromelanin accumulates in the LC and acts as a natural contrast agent that opens the door to the non-invasive, in-vivo assessment of LC integrity via MRI.

299 healthy younger and older participants that participated in the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II) were scanned with a high resolution neuromelanin-sensitive T1-weighted Turbo Spin Echo sequence (T1-TSE; in-plane resolution 0.5 x 0.5 mm). We developed a semi-automatic procedure to extract individual peak LC intensity values and their coordinates across the rostrocaudal extent of the nucleus. The procedure demonstrated high reproducibility across multiple measurements and was validated using both published LC maps (see Figure below) and manual intensity assessments. For a detailed description of the method, please refer to Dahl et al., 2018.

Peak intensity coordinates were converted to a LC probability map that we here make freely available to the neuroscientific community to facilitate the comparability of studies. The map is provided in standard Montreal Neurological Institute coordinate space (0.5 mm iso-voxel MNI 152).

When using the map in a study, please cite:

Dahl, M. J., Mather, M., Düzel, S., Bodammer, N. C., Lindenberger, U., Kühn, S., & Werkle-Bergner, M. (2018). Locus coeruleus integrity preserves memory performance across the adult life span. bioRxiv: 332098. https://doi.org/10.1101/332098

To obtain the map, please send a request with your name and research affiliation to:

LC [at] mpib-berlin [dot] mpg [dot] de (LC [at] mpib-berlin.mpg.de)

Please note the important copyright information in the box below!

 

Figure

Locus coeruleus probability map generation
© Martin J. Dahl, MPIB

Schematic overview of the semi-automatic analysis procedure used to extract individual locus coeruleus (LC) intensity values across the rostrocaudal extent. (a) Native space neuromelanin-sensitive brainstem scans of three randomly selected subjects (axial slices are shown). Hyperintensities corresponding to the LC are indicated by red arrows. (b) Neuromelanin-sensitive scans were aligned and pooled across subjects in order to increase signal-to-noise ratio and facilitate LC delineation using a template-based approach. On a group level, LC location (red) was semi-automatically determined based on an intensity threshold relative to a pontine reference area (blue; see inlays). (c) Areas surviving the thresholding are grouped into a volume of interest (search space: upper plot; 3D representation) and used to restrict automatized extraction of individual peak intensities and their location. Observed peak LC locations were converted to a LC probability map (lower plot). (d) In standard space, the LC probability map was successfully validated using published maps by Keren and colleagues (2009) and Betts and others (2017). Circle radius indicates map size (i.e., number of voxels).

Important Copyright Notice

The documents contained in these directories are included by the contributing authors as a means to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a non-commercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the authors or by other copyright holders, notwithstanding that they have offered their works here electronically. It is understood that all persons copying this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

Contact

Martin J. Dahl
Center for Lifespan Psychology
Max Planck Institute for Human Development
Lentzeallee 94
14195 Berlin
LC [at] mpib-berlin [dot] mpg [dot] de (LC (at) mpib-berlin.mpg.de)

Reference

Dahl, M. J., Mather, M., Düzel, S., Bodammer, N. C., Lindenberger, U., Kühn, S., & Werkle-Bergner, M. (2018). Locus coeruleus integrity preserves memory performance across the adult life span. bioRxiv: 332098. https://doi.org/10.1101/332098