New NIH funding to Kuopio for simultaneous functional MRI of the brain and the spinal cord
The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded funding for the development of a novel functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) method at the University of Eastern Finland. The new method will allow functional imaging of the brain and the spinal cord simultaneously, utilising a zero echo time (ZTE) fMRI approach, which has also been developed in an NIH funded project by Professor Olli Gröhn’s group at the University of Eastern Finland.
“Traditional fMRI cannot assess the function of the brain and the distal part of the spinal cord simultaneously. ZTE-fMRI tolerates imperfect scanning conditions much better than conventional fMRI and, for the first time, allows simultaneous fMRI of far-apart targets,” Professor Gröhn says.
The new approach can in the future be used, for example, to evaluate spinal cord injury, neurodegenerative diseases and pain.