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Press Release 05-203

Researchers Use Imaging Technique to Visualize Effects of Stress on Human Brain

Method tracks water molecules in blood

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Blow flow in the brains of volunteers undergoing mental arithmetic

The background of this image shows the mean cerebral blood flow of all the volunteers undergoing the stress tasks (mental arithmetic) acquired using the continuous arterial spin labeling (CASL) technique. The foreground shows the detected activation in the right prefrontal cortex--an area long associated with anxiety and depression--when the subjects are under stress.

Credit: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine


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Arterial spin labeling uses an fMRI magnet to "tag" water molecules in the patient's blood

The continuous arterial spin labeling (CASL) method is very similar to positron emission tomography (PET) scanning but does not require injections or radioactivity. To measure blood flow in the brain, the technique uses a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) magnet to "tag" water molecules in the patient's blood, which also serves as the natural contrast agent.

Credit: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine


Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (75 KB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.