Kolloquium: Functional Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy: The “New” MRS in Psychiatry Research

  • Datum: 07.06.2018
  • Uhrzeit: 13:00
  • Vortragende(r): Jeffrey A. Stanley
  • Ort: Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin
  • Raum: 299
  • Gastgeber: Forschungsbereich Entwicklungspsychologie
  • Kontakt: seklindenberger@mpib-berlin.mpg.de

The Center for Lifespan Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, led by Prof. Ulman Lindenberger, cordially invites all interested to attend its colloquium

Jeffrey A. Stanley, Wayne State University School of Medicine, USA

Functional Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy: The “New” MRS in Psychiatry Research

Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (¹H MRS) is a well-established technique for quantifying the brain regional biochemistry in vivo. In most studies, however, the ¹H MRS is acquired during rest with little to no constraint on behaviour. Measured metabolite levels, therefore, reflect steady state concentrations whose associations with behaviour and cognition are unclear. With the recent advances in MR technology—higher-field MR systems, robust acquisition techniques and sophisticated quantification methods—¹H MRS is now experiencing a resurgence. It is sensitive to task-related and pathology-relevant regional dynamic changes in neurotransmitters, including the most ubiquitous among them, glutamate. Moreover, high temporal resolution approaches allow tracking glutamate modulations at a time scale of under a minute during perceptual, motor, and cognitive tasks. The observed task-related changes in brain glutamate are consistent with new metabolic steady states reflecting the neural output driven by shifts in the local excitatory and inhibitory (E/I) balance on local circuits. Unlike BOLD-base fMRI, this form of in vivo MRS, also known as functional MRS (¹H fMRS), yields a more direct measure of behaviourally relevant neural activity and is considerably less sensitive to vascular changes. ¹H fMRS enables noninvasive investigations of task-related glutamate changes that are relevant to normal and impaired cognitive performance, and psychiatric disorders. By targeting brain glutamate, this approach taps into putative neural correlates of synaptic plasticity.

The objectives of this presentation is to:

  1. Introduce ¹H fMRS and its conceptual framework in assessing the neural output driven by shifts in the E/I balance on local circuits.

  2. Provide evidence that ¹H fMRS is a sensitive tool for detecting task-related changes in the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate in functionally relevant brain areas.

  3. Provide evidence on how ¹H fMRS can advance the understanding of neural dysfunctions related to the inability to shift the E/I equilibrium through mechanisms of impaired synaptic plasticity in psychiatric disorders.
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