Functional connectome of arousal and motor brainstem nuclei in living humans by 7 Tesla resting-state fMRI

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Kavita SinghMarta Bianciardi


Brainstem nuclei play a pivotal role in many functions, such as arousal and motor control. Nevertheless, the connectivity of arousal and motor brainstem nuclei is understudied in living humans due to the limited sensitivity and spatial resolution of conventional imaging, and to the lack of atlases of these deep tiny regions of the brain. For a holistic comprehension of sleep, arousal and associated motor processes, we investigated in 20 healthy subjects the resting-state functional connectivity of 18 arousal and motor brainstem nuclei in living humans. To do so, we used high spatial-resolution 7 Tesla resting-state fMRI, as well as a recently developed in-vivo probabilistic atlas of these nuclei in stereotactic space. Further, we verified the translatability of our brainstem connectome approach to conventional (e.g. 3 Tesla) fMRI. Arousal brainstem nuclei displayed high interconnectivity, as well as connectivity to the thalamus, hypothalamus, basal forebrain and frontal cortex, in line with animal studies and as expected for arousal regions. Motor brainstem nuclei showed expected connectivity to the cerebellum, basal ganglia and motor cortex, as well as high interconnectivity. Comparison of 3 Tesla to 7 Tesla connectivity resul...Continue Reading

Software Mentioned

AFNI 3dQwarp
GRETNA ( GRaph thEoreTical Network Analysis )

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