Author(s): Le Bihan D
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Abstract Diffusion MRI has been introduced in 1985 and has had a very successful life on its own. While it has become a standard for imaging stroke and white matter disorders, the borders between diffusion MRI and the general field of fMRI have always remained fuzzy. First, diffusion MRI has been used to obtain images of brain function, based on the idea that diffusion MRI could also be made sensitive to blood flow, through the intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) concept. Second, the IVIM concept helped better understand the contribution from different vasculature components to the BOLD fMRI signal. Third, it has been shown recently that a genuine fMRI signal can be obtained with diffusion MRI. This "DfMRI" signal is notably different from the BOLD fMRI signal, especially for its much faster response to brain activation both at onset and offset, which points out to structural changes in the neural tissues, perhaps such as cell swelling, occurring in activated neural tissue. This short article reviews the major steps which have paved the way for this exciting development, underlying how technical progress with MRI equipment has each time been instrumental to expand the horizon of diffusion MRI toward the field of fMRI. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Neuroimage
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology