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  Investigating resting-state functional connectivity in the cervical spinal cord at 3 T

Eippert, F., Kong, Y., Winkler, A. M., Andersson, J. L., Finsterbusch, J., Büchel, C., et al. (2017). Investigating resting-state functional connectivity in the cervical spinal cord at 3 T. NeuroImage, 147, 589-601. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.12.072.

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Eippert, Falk1, Author              
Kong, Yazhuo1, Author
Winkler, Anderson M.1, Author
Andersson, Jesper L.1, Author
Finsterbusch, Jürgen1, Author
Büchel, Christian1, Author
Brooks, Jonathan C. W.1, Author
Tracey, Irene1, Author
1External Organizations, ou_persistent22              


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 Abstract: The study of spontaneous fluctuations in the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal has recently been extended from the brain to the spinal cord. Two ultra-high field functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies in humans have provided evidence for reproducible resting-state connectivity between the dorsal horns as well as between the ventral horns, and a study in non-human primates has shown that these resting-state signals are impacted by spinal cord injury. As these studies were carried out at ultra-high field strengths using region-of-interest (ROI) based analyses, we investigated whether such resting-state signals could also be observed at the clinically more prevalent field strength of 3 T. In a reanalysis of a sample of 20 healthy human participants who underwent a resting-state fMRI acquisition of the cervical spinal cord, we were able to observe significant dorsal horn connectivity as well as ventral horn connectivity, but no consistent effects for connectivity between dorsal and ventral horns, thus replicating the human 7 T results. These effects were not only observable when averaging along the acquired length of the spinal cord, but also when we examined each of the acquired spinal segments separately, which showed similar patterns of connectivity. Finally, we investigated the robustness of these resting-state signals against variations in the analysis pipeline by varying the type of ROI creation, temporal filtering, nuisance regression and connectivity metric. We observed that – apart from the effects of band-pass filtering – ventral horn connectivity showed excellent robustness, whereas dorsal horn connectivity showed moderate robustness. Together, our results provide evidence that spinal cord resting-state connectivity is a robust and spatially consistent phenomenon that could be a valuable tool for investigating the effects of pathology, disease progression, and treatment response in neurological conditions with a spinal component, such as spinal cord injury.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2016-09-052016-12-232016-12-242017-02-15
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.12.072
PMID: 28027960
PMC: PMC5315056
Other: Epub 2016
 Degree: -



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Project name : -
Grant ID : 211534/2013-7
Funding program : -
Funding organization : National Research Council of Brazil
Project name : Mechanismen und Störungen der Gedächtniskonsolidierung: Von Synapsen zur Systemebene / SFB 1315
Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Project name : Funktionelle Kopplung neuronaler Aktivität im ZNS / SFB 936
Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Project name : Divided Metacognition: when epistemic norms conflict / DIVIDNORM
Grant ID : 269616
Funding program : Funding Programme 7
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)
Project name : -
Grant ID : 102645 ; 098369/Z/12/Z
Funding program : Wellcome Trust Strategic Award
Funding organization : Wellcome Trust
Project name : -
Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre
Project name : -
Grant ID : G0700238
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Medical Research Council (MRC)

Source 1

Title: NeuroImage
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Orlando, FL : Academic Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 147 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 589 - 601 Identifier: ISSN: 1053-8119
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922650166