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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1986 Dec;6(6):637-41.

Response of regional cerebral blood flow and oxygen metabolism to thalamic stimulation in humans as revealed by positron emission tomography.


To clarify functional neural pathways originating from the thalamic nucleus ventralis posterolateralis (VPL) in humans, the responses of regional CBF (rCBF) and regional CMRO2 (rCMRO2) to VPL stimulation were investigated by positron emission tomography in five patients who had undergone chronic implantation of electrodes into the VPL for therapeutic purposes. Measurement of rCBF and rCMRO2 under continuous inhalation of C15O2 and 15O2 by steady-state methods revealed significant increases of rCBF and rCMRO2 in the frontal, postcentral, and thalamic regions. The increases in rCBF and rCMRO2 of the postcentral regions were clearly predominant in the stimulated hemisphere insofar as the stimulation produced moderate paresthesia in restricted areas of the body. These results indicate that the VPL relays peripheral somatosensory information, which has previously been demonstrated to be transmitted to the frontal as well as postcentral regions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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