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Activation induced changes in GABA: functional MRS at 7 T with MEGA-sLASER

Activation induced changes in GABA: functional MRS at 7 T with MEGA-sLASER Thumbnail


Chen Chen

Hilmar P. Sigurdsson

Sophia E.

Peter G. Morris

Paul S. Morgan

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience


Functional magnetic resonance spectroscopy (fMRS) has been used to assess the dynamic metabolic responses of the brain to a physiological stimulus non-invasively. However, only limited information on the dynamic functional response of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, is available. We aimed to measure the activation-induced changes in GABA unambiguously using a spectral editing method, instead of the conventional direct detection techniques used in previous fMRS studies. The Mescher-Garwood-semi-localised by adiabatic selective refocusing (MEGA-sLASER) sequence was developed at 7 T to obtain the time course of GABA concentration without macromolecular contamination. A significant decrease (−12±5%) in the GABA to total creatine ratio (GABA/tCr) was observed in the motor cortex during a period of 10 minutes of hand-clenching, compared to an initial baseline level (GABA/tCr = 0.11±0.02) at rest. An increase in the Glx (glutamate and glutamine) to tCr ratio was also found, which is in agreement with previous findings. In contrast, no significant changes in NAA/tCr and tCr were detected. With consistent and highly efficient editing performance for GABA detection and the advantage of visually identifying GABA resonances in the spectra, MEGA-sLASER is demonstrated to be an effective method for studying of dynamic changes in GABA at 7 T.


Chen, C., Sigurdsson, H. P., Pépés, S. E., Auer, D. P., Morris, P. G., Morgan, P. S., …Jackson, S. R. (2017). Activation induced changes in GABA: functional MRS at 7 T with MEGA-sLASER. NeuroImage, 156, 207-213.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 19, 2017
Online Publication Date May 19, 2017
Publication Date 2017-08
Deposit Date May 23, 2017
Publicly Available Date May 23, 2017
Journal NeuroImage
Print ISSN 1053-8119
Electronic ISSN 1095-9572
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 156
Pages 207-213
Keywords GABA; MEGA editing; functional MRS; motor cortex; 7T
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Activation induced changes in GABA: Functional MRS at 7T with MEGA-sLASER; Journal Title: NeuroImage; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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