MRI Research Amsterdam UMC

The resting brain: neurometabolite signaling underlying brain network fluctuations

We have long assumed that the vast majority of energy going to the brain is needed to perform tasks, but it turns out that more than 80% of the energy is spent on “the resting brain.” Resting-state functional MRI techniques (rs-fMRI) have been used to show that (non-adjacent) areas of the brain exhibit similar activity and are thus functionally linked. The degree of this functional connectivity is important for predicting cognitive function and appears to be aberrant in neuropsychiatric disorders. However, we do not understand how energy metabolism in brain regions (neurometabolism) gives rise to functional connectivity between these regions. Using a novel MRI protocol, we will investigate the relationship between neurometabolism and functional connectivity. By identifying these relationships, we can ultimately learn how dysfunctional connectivity can be effectively restored by therapies or medications aimed at modulating neurometabolism.