Study of New Magnetic Resonance Imaging Methods of the Brain

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified November 2014 by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) ) Identifier:
First received: February 18, 2000
Last updated: October 8, 2015
Last verified: November 2014

The purpose of this investigation is to develop improved magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques and hardware for studying brain function. MRI is a diagnostic tool that provides information about brain chemistry and physiology. This study will evaluate new MRI methods for monitoring blood flow to regions of the brain in response to simple tasks. The MRI machine used in this study is more powerful than those in most hospitals, permitting a higher visual resolution.

Normal healthy volunteers over 18 years old may be eligible for this study. Candidates will be screened with a medical history and questionnaire, and a neurological examination. Study participants will have a yearly MRI scan. For this procedure, the subject lies on a stretcher that is moved into a donut-shaped machine with a strong magnetic field. A lightweight circular or rectangular coil a device that improves the quality of the images may be placed on the head. The scan time varies from 20 minutes to 3 hours; most scans last between 45 and 90 minutes. During the scan, the subject may perform simple tasks, such as listening to tapes, tapping a finger, moving a hand, watching a screen, or smelling a fragrance. More complex tasks may require thinking about tones or pictures and responding to them by pressing buttons.

Information from this study will be used to develop better imaging methods that will, in turn, permit a greater understanding of normal and abnormal brain behaviors.


Study Type: Observational
Official Title: Characterization of Brain Morphology and Activity Using Functional and Anatomical MRI Contrast

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Estimated Enrollment: 650
Study Start Date: February 2000
Detailed Description:


The goal of this protocol is to improve the spatial resolution and sensitivity in MRI studies of the changes in hemodynamics that occur in the central nervous system (CNS) in healthy controls in response to sensory, motor, or cognitive stimulation.

CNS functional changes will be characterized by measuring blood flow, blood transit time, and blood oxygenation. These studies are required in order to develop and implement new imaging techniques for research and clinical applications on the 3.0T and 7.0T MRI. A secondary goal is to evaluate the feasibility to combine brain recording techniques, electro-encephalography (EEG) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG), with MRI.

Techniques will be developed for anatomical and spectroscopic MRI that can take advantage of 7T field strength, extending parallel imaging strategies to 7T to realize the full gain in sensitivity. The aim is to obtain very high resolution anatomical MRI, high temporal and spatial resolution blood oxygenation (BOLD) and blood flow (perfusion) images, and spectroscopic studies of metabolites of the brain. All of these techniques will be performed on normal, healthy volunteers.

Study Population

Any healthy, male or female volunteer between 18-65 years of age; the subjects must be capable of understanding the procedures and requirements of this study and be willing to sign an informed consent document.


The is a technical development study design to develop and evaluate new MR pulse sequences and hardware for performing MRI and functional MRI in the CNS at 3.0T and 7T with a high spatial resolution.

Outcome Measures

The primary outcome of this study will be the ability to acquire anatomical and functional images of the human brain with high spatial resolution, i.e. 100-300 micron and 750-1000 micron respectively. The relative merits of blood flow and BOLD fMRI techniques, and their particular signal characteristics will be established. In addition, we anticipate the ability to acquire (proton) spectroscopic data at 5mm resolution. Another outcome will be the ability to acquire artifact-free EEG data concurrently with the functional MRI data.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
  • 18-65 years of age
  • in good general health
  • able to understand the procedures and requirements and give informed consent


All Subjects will answer the NMR safety screening form (Appendix C) and the

Healthy volunteer form (Appendix B). A subject will be excluded if he/she:

  • has any implanted medical device -
  • underwent brain surgery, has a central nervous system illness, a neurological lesion or history of neurological or psychiatric disorders (defined by the DSM-5)
  • has any medical problems such as, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, pulmonary or

airway disease, heart failure, coronary artery disease, and history of sleep apnea.

  • has a diagnosable substance dependence
  • has any metal in their body due to by trauma or surgery
  • cannot lie comfortably for up to 120 minutes
  • is pregnant
  • has sustained shrapnel injuries
  • has worked as a machinist, or other occupations that have resulted in metal shavings in their eye
  • has claustrophobia
  • has recurrent migraines that require medication

The contraindications to MRI at both 3.0 T and 7T are almost identical, except the 7T also excludes ferromagnetic dental bridges and/or crowns.

  Contacts and Locations
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, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00004577

Contact: Jeffrey H Duyn, Ph.D. (301) 594-7305
Contact: Alan P. Koretsky, Ph.D. (301) 402-9659

United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike Recruiting
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Contact: For more information at the NIH Clinical Center contact Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office (PRPL)    800-411-1222 ext TTY8664111010   
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Principal Investigator: Alan P. Koretsky, Ph.D. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
  More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) ) Identifier: NCT00004577     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 000082, 00-N-0082
Study First Received: February 18, 2000
Last Updated: October 8, 2015
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
BOLD Effect
Cerebral Blood Flow
Cerebral Blood Volume
Functional Imaging
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Technical Developments processed this record on October 13, 2015