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Measuring Blood Flow in the Brain

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00466934
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : April 27, 2007
Last Update Posted : July 2, 2017
United States Department of Defense
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM)
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Brief Summary:

This study will test a method of measuring brain blood flow called near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). It will determine whether NIRS gives the same results as the more commonly used technique, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Healthy normal volunteers between 18 and 60 years of age may be eligible for this study. Participants come to the NIH up to six times for experiments using NIRS and fMRI. They do the following tasks while they are undergoing NIRS or fMRI:

  • looking at a computer monitor while a checkerboard pattern changes
  • wiggling the toes and moving the fingers
  • Reading words on a computer screen and pushing one button if they are plants and another if they are animals.

For NIRS, a frame is placed on the head and held it in place with a metal band. The frame holds sensors that contact the scalp.

For fMRI, the subject lies on a table that can slide in and out of an MRI scanner, a metal cylinder surrounded by a strong magnetic field. fMRI uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to obtain images of the brain while the subject performs tasks. During the procedure, The subject wears earplugs to muffle the sound of loud knocking noises that occur during scanning.

Condition or disease
Traumatic Brain Injury Healthy

Detailed Description:

OBJECTIVE: a) to explore the usefulness of Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) as a means of mapping brain activity, to see whether the results are similar to those of fMRI and b) to see whether spontaneous brain blood flow changes coincide with changes in behavior.

STUDY POPULATION: 50 healthy volunteers.

DESIGN: The study will look for correlations between NIRS and fMRI signal changes in the same subjects. It will also detect relationships between spontaneous blood flow shifts and shifts and changes in cognitive performance. Finally, NIRS will be combined with a frontal lobe activation task to see if blood flow changes can be detected over the hairless skin of the forehead in a simple, standardized manner that might yield a diagnostic test for frontal injury.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Graded changes in blood flow and oxygen, measured with NIRS and fMRI and variations in response time on a word task.

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Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 31 participants
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Cross-Validating NIRS With fMRI
Study Start Date : April 24, 2007
Study Completion Date : December 29, 2011

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Age 18 to 60, inclusive.


  • Pregnancy.
  • History of hypertension.
  • History of any disease of the central nervous system.
  • Current use of sedating medication, including antihistamines.
  • Subjects with any of the following will be excluded from MRI testing: aneurysm clip; implanted neural stimulator; implanted cardiac pacemaker or auto-defibrillator; cochlear implant; ocular foreign body, such as metal shavings; permanent eyeliner; insulin pump; or irremovable body piercing due to the possible dangerous effects of the MRI magnet upon metal objects in the body.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00466934

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United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
United States Department of Defense
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM)

Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00466934     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 070139
First Posted: April 27, 2007    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: July 2, 2017
Last Verified: December 29, 2011
Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Cerebral Blood Flow
Cerebral Cortex
Optical Imaging
Healthy Volunteer
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Brain Injuries
Brain Injuries, Traumatic
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Craniocerebral Trauma
Trauma, Nervous System
Wounds and Injuries