Mapping whole brain effects of infrared neural stimulation with positron emission tomography

The combination of neuroimaging and targeted neuromodulation is a crucial tool to gain a deeper understanding of neural networks at a circuit level. Infrared neurostimulation (INS) is a promising optical modality that allows to evoke neuronal activity with high spatial resolution without need for the introduction of exogenous substances in the brain. Here, we report the use of whole-brain functional [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) imaging during INS in the dorsal striatum, performed using a multifunctional soft neural probe. We demonstrate the possibility to identify multi-circuit connection patterns in both cortical and subcortical brain regions within a single scan. By using a bolus plus infusion FDG-PET scanning protocol, we were able to observe the metabolic rate evolution in these regions during the experiments and correlate its variation with the onset of the INS stimulus. Due to the focality of INS and the large amount of viable molecular targets for PET, this novel approach to simultaneous imaging and stimulation is highly versatile. This pilot study can pave the way to further understand the brain connectivity on a global scale.

Marcello Meneghetti, Frederik Gudmundsen, Naja S. Jessen, Kunyang Sui, Christina Baun, Mikael Palner, Christos Markos

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