Increases in both cerebral glucose utilization and blood flow during execution of a somatosensory task

Myron D. Ginsberg, Jen Y. Chang, Roger E. Kelley, Fumihito Yoshii, Warren W. Barker, Gary Ingenito, Thomas E. Boothe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


To investigate local metabolic and hemodynamic interrelationships during functional activation of the brain, paired studies of local cerebral glucose utilization (lCMRGlc) and blood flow (lCBF) were carried out in 10 normal subjects (9 right-handed, 1 ambidextrous) at rest and during a unilateral discriminative somatosensory/motor task - palpation and sorting of mah-jongg tiles by engraved design. The extent of activation was assessed on the basis of percentage difference images following normalization to compensate for global shifts. The somatosensory stimulus elevated lCMRGlc by 16.9 ± 3.5% (mean ± standard deviation) and lCBF by 26.5 ± 5.1% in the contralateral sensorimotor cortical focus; smaller increments were noted in the homologous ipsilateral site. The increments of lCMRGlc and lCBF correlated poorly with one another in individual subjects. Stimulation of the right hand resulted in significantly higher contralateral lCMRGlc activation (19.6%) than did stimulation of the left hand (14.1%) (p < 0.005), whereas the lCBF response was independent of the hand stimulated. Our results indicate that both glycolytic metabolism and blood flow increase locally with the execution of an active sensorimotor task and suggest that both measures may serve as reliable markers of functional activation of the normal brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-160
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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