Jessica Archibald’s MSc Thesis Proposal

Title: “Tracking changes in glutamate using dynamic MRS in response to an acutely noxious stimulus”

Supervisor: Dr. John Kramer (Kinesiology)
Committee Members: Dr. Jean-Sebastien Blouin (Kinesiology), Dr. Piotr Kozlowski (Radiology and Urologic Sciences)

Abstract: Current treatment and diagnosis of pain conditions are dependent on self-reported measures. A critical limitation is the lack of mechanistic information from this measure. The objective of this study is to examine changes in excitatory neurotransmitter concentrations (glutamate) in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) as a potential objective marker of pain using dynamic single-voxel magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Preliminary results show the feasibility of dynamically measuring ACC glutamate levels, which can be quantified with satisfactory reliability (4% measurement error) using the current paradigm.