Comprehensive in vivo mapping of the human basal ganglia and thalamic connectome in individuals using 7T MRI.
Basal ganglia circuits are affected in neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD), essential tremor, dystonia and Tourette syndrome. Understanding the structural and functional connectivity of these circuits is critical for elucidating the mechanisms of the movement and neuropsychiatric disorders, and is vital for developing new therapeutic strategies such as deep brain stimulation (DBS). Knowledge about the connectivity of the human basal ganglia and thalamus has rapidly evolved over recent years through non-invasive imaging techniques, but has remained incomplete because of insufficient resolution and sensitivity of these techniques. Here, we present an imaging and computational protocol designed to generate a comprehensive in vivo and subject-specific, three-dimensional model of the structure and connections of the human basal ganglia. High-resolution structural and functional magnetic resonance images were acquired with a 7-Tesla magnet. Capitalizing on the enhanced signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and enriched contrast obtained at high-field MRI, detailed structural and connectivity representations of the human basal ganglia and thalamus were achieved. This unique combination of multiple imaging modalities enabled the in-vivo visualization of the individual human basal ganglia and thalamic nuclei, the reconstruction of seven white-matter pathways and their connectivity probability that, to date, have only been reported in animal studies, histologically, or group-averaged MRI population studies. Also described are subject-specific parcellations of the basal ganglia and thalamus into sub-territories based on their distinct connectivity patterns. These anatomical connectivity findings are supported by functional connectivity data derived from resting-state functional MRI (R-fMRI). This work demonstrates new capabilities for studying basal ganglia circuitry, and opens new avenues of investigation into the movement and neuropsychiatric disorders, in individual human subjects.
Lenglet, C; Abosch, A; Yacoub, E; De Martino, F; Sapiro, G; Harel, N
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