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Methods Mol Biol. 2011;711:567-78. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61737-992-5_29.

MRI of neuronal plasticity in rodent models.

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Department of Radiology, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Modifications in the behavior and architecture of neuronal networks are well documented to occur in association with learning and memory, as well as following injury. These plasticity mechanisms are crucial to ensure adequate processing of stimuli, and they also dictate the degree of recovery following peripheral or central nervous system injury. Nevertheless, the underlying neuronal mechanisms that determine the degree of plasticity of neuronal pathways are not fully understood. Recent developments in animal-dedicated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners and related hardware afford a high spatial and temporal resolution, making functional MRI and manganese-enhanced MRI emerging tools for studying reorganization of neuronal pathways in rodent models. Many of the observed changes in neuronal functions in rodent's brains following injury discussed here agree with clinical human fMRI findings. This demonstrates that animal model imaging can have a significant clinical impact in the neuronal plasticity and rehabilitation arenas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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