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Ultra-high 7T MRI of structural age-related changes of the subthalamic nucleus

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Bazin,  Pierre-Louis
Department Neurophysics, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Schäfer,  Andreas
Department Neurophysics, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Neumann,  Jane
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Integrated Research and Treatment Center Adiposity Diseases, University of Leipzig, Germany;

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Turner,  Robert
Department Neurophysics, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Keuken, M., Bazin, P.-L., Schäfer, A., Neumann, J., Turner, R., & Forstmann, B. U. (2013). Ultra-high 7T MRI of structural age-related changes of the subthalamic nucleus. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33(11), 4896-4900. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3241-12.2013.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-7DEF-3
Abstract
The subthalamic nucleus (STh) is a small subcortical structure which is involved in regulating motor as well as cognitive functions. Due to its small size and close proximity to other small subcortical structures, it has been a challenge to localize and visualize it using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Currently there are several standard atlases available that are used to localize the STh in functional MRI studies and clinical procedures such as deep brain stimulation (DBS). DBS is an increasingly common neurosurgical procedure that has been successfully used to alleviate motor symptoms present in Parkinson's disease. However, current atlases are based on low sample sizes and restricted age ranges (Schaltenbrand and Wahren, 1977), and hence the use of these atlases effectively ignores the substantial structural brain changes that are associated with aging. In the present study, ultra-high field 7 tesla (T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in humans was used to visualize and segment the STh in young, middle-aged, and elderly participants. The resulting probabilistic atlas maps for all age groups show that the STh shifts in the lateral direction with increasing age. In sum, the results of the present study suggest that age has to be taken into account in atlases for the optimal localization of the STh in healthy and diseased brains.