, the researchers scanned 59 high-risk, 6-month-old infants while they slept naturally.
Alberts, researcher Chintan Shah, B.S., and their Cleveland Clinic colleagues, recently used fcMRI to study the effect of exercise on 26 Parkinson's disease patients.
"By measuring changes in blood oxygenation levels in the brain, fcMRI allows us to look at the functional connectivity between different brain regions," Shah said.
fcMRI was conducted before and after the eight weeks of exercise therapy and again as follow-up four weeks later.
fcMRI detects interconnected brain regions which activate together as a functional network.
The acquisitions for fcMRI should have about 300 volumes or serial time points to adequately sample the low-frequency signal fluctuations (<0.1 Hz) representative of vascular fcMRI responses to baseline neuronal activity "at rest." Collecting cardiac and respiratory waveforms in conjunction with the fcMRI time course data is useful for regressing out signal fluctuations due to these nonneuronal sources of physiological variability, leaving signal fluctuations more nearly caused by vascular responses to neuronal activity .
Analyses of fcMRI data are typically done in one of two ways: unguided exploratory analyses by Independent Components Analysis , or seed-based analysis by which voxels whose signal time course correlates highly with those of the seed region of interest (ROI) are detected .
Few examples exist in the literature of how fcMRI can be applied to stroke and rehabilitation.