phMRI - Pharmacologic MRI

Pharmacologic MRI (phMRI) is imaging drug action in the brain.

phMRI is a variant of fMRI, where the stimulus is replaced by a drug. The method can verify if the drug targets a specific neurotransmitter system.

Example: Amphetamine

Let's take the example of amphetamines in the treatment of ADHD. Amphetamines induce the release of dopamine. Dopamine is vasodilatory. This induces a change in the cerebral blood volume (CBV). This change can be detected either via the BOLD effect, or via the injection of a contrast agent (iron oxyde nanoparticles). This increase in CBF is localized in xxx, e.g. the ..., which confirms that amphetamine is targetting the dopamine system. Similar methodology can be used with other neurotransmitters.

phMRI: References

  • Jenkins. Pharmacologic magnetic resonance imaging (phMRI): Imaging drug action in the brain. NeuroImage 2012, 62:1072–1085

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