Improving MRT Image Quality in Patients with Movement Disorders
Objective: In order to improve image quality in a simultaneous fMRI-EEG study with patients suffering from the involuntary movements typical for Huntington’s disease, the aim was to develop a technique for immobilizing the heads of our patients inside an MRI head coil.
Methods: We modified a mask technique previously used for reliable repositioning in temporally fractionated radiotherapy. The mask was tested in three patients with Huntington’s disease, acquiring structural and functional MR images with simultaneous EEG with and without the mask.
Results: Image as well as EEG signal quality were significantly improved in patients wearing the mask. However, the image quality with mask was comparable to acquisitions from patients without movement disorders only in patients with light to moderate dyskinesia. Although image quality was also significantly improved in a patient suffering from severe dyskinesia with quasi-continuous involuntary movements, the quality of both the MR images as well as the EEG signal was lower than what would be expected in a healthy control person.
Conclusion: We have succeeded in developing a mask that fits into the MRI head coil, does not disturb the MRI signal, and significantly improves both fMRI and EEG signal quality.
KeywordsfMRI Dyskinesia EEG Huntington’s disease Immobilization Mask
We would like to thank Dipl. Physiol. Christoph Weis, who made the initial suggestion for the development of the mask, and Dr. Oliver Tüscher for encouraging us to go ahead with the idea. We also thank Mr. Kraft, Mr. Salvatore Fresta, and Mr. Benjamin Grunert of the Department of Radiotherapy for their time and enthusiasm during the development phase of our mask technique, as well as for their continued and ongoing support in fitting masks for our patients. Prof. A. Grosu, director of the Department of Radiotherapy, is thanked for allowing us to conduct this development work in the departmental workshop. EEG and fMRI data were acquired as part of a larger project supported by the Ministry of Education and Research of Germany (BMBF).
Conflict of Interest The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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