Synchronized detection of minute electrical currents with MRI using Lorentz effect imaging.
The blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) effect is the most commonly used contrast mechanism in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), due to its relatively high spatial resolution and sensitivity. However, the ability of BOLD fMRI to accurately localize neuronal activation in space and time is limited by the inherent hemodynamic modulation. There is hence a need to develop alternative MRI methods that can directly image neuroelectric activity, thereby achieving both a high temporal resolution and spatial specificity as compared to conventional BOLD fMRI. In this paper, we extend the Lorentz effect imaging technique, which can detect spatially incoherent yet temporally synchronized minute electrical activity in a strong magnetic field, and demonstrate its feasibility for imaging randomly oriented electrical currents on the order of microamperes with a temporal resolution on the order of milliseconds in gel phantoms. This constitutes a promising step towards its application to direct imaging of neuroelectric activity in vivo, which has the same order of current density and temporal synchrony.
Truong, T-K; Wilbur, JL; Song, AW
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