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Radiology. 2005 Aug;236(2):655-60.

Simultaneous assessment of motor and language areas with a single functional MR imaging paradigm: feasibility.

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Feinberg Neuroscience Institute and Department of Radiology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, 676 N St Clair St, Suite 1400, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


The purpose of this study was to test a hybrid multitask paradigm in healthy subjects and in a patient at preoperative functional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. In this new paradigm, tasks related to different centers of brain function (motor and language) are performed in alternation during a single functional MR imaging examination, without the typical rest period, to improve time efficiency without compromising the quality of activation maps. The institutional review board approved the study, and all participants gave informed prior consent. The study complied with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Seven healthy right-handed volunteers (four men, three women; age range, 22-40 years) were studied first. In both individual and group analyses, there was no statistically significant difference in results between assessment with the multitask design and that with the traditional block design. An advantage of the new paradigm was substantial time savings because the subject was engaged during the entire examination. Finally, the multitask design was tested in a patient undergoing preoperative evaluation, with similar results; therefore, use of the multitask design is feasible in a clinical setting.

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