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0 Q&A 2405 Views Jan 20, 2021

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) can be used to measure in vivo concentrations of neurometabolites. This information can be used to identify neurotransmitter involvement in healthy (e.g., perceptual and cognitive processes) and unhealthy brain function (e.g., neurological and psychiatric illnesses). The standard approach for analyzing MRS data is to combine spectral transients acquired over a ~10 min scan to yield a single estimate that reflects the average metabolite concentration during that period. The temporal resolution of metabolite measurements is sacrificed in this manner to achieve a sufficient signal-to-noise ratio to produce a reliable estimate. Here we introduce two analyses that can be used to increase the temporal resolution of neurometabolite estimates produced from MRS measurements. The first analysis uses a sliding window approach to create a smoothed trace of neurometabolite concentration for each MRS scan. The second analysis combines transients across participants, rather than time, producing a single “group trace” with the highest possible temporal resolution achievable with the data. These analyses advance MRS beyond the current “static” application by allowing researchers to measure dynamic changes in neurometabolite concentration and expanding the types of questions that the technique can be used to address.

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