The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH) anticipates awarding a contract to an organization or organizations to develop standardized BOLD fMRI and ASL methodology and software for assessing brain function longitudinally with two developmental domains in typically developing children with an age range between infancy and 18-years-old. In a relatively short time, adult functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research has grown rapidly and made important contributions in understanding cognition and neurobehavioral disorders. In contrast, the functional neuroimaging research involving children and adolescents is quite small and limited. In a recent review of PubMed articles published in the past five years, 210 functional neuroimaging articles involving children were identified. Of these articles, 92% involved adolescents 18 years or older and 98% involved sample sizes less than 15 per group. The control groups in these studies are often matched to the target group and therefore not a representative sample of typical development. These factors increase the likelihood of both type I and II errors and make it impossible to generalize findings. Larger-scale studies are needed in order to make more reliable interpretations of pediatric fMRI data. The project shall address development of a standardized methodology and associated software for blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) fMRI and arterial spin labeling (ASL) acquisition in typically developing children from the ages of newborn to 18-years-old. The contractor shall obtain brain perfusion studies across the infant to 18-year-old age range. In addition, the contractor shall develop a standardized method of investigating brain-behavior development using BOLD fMRI and ASL within two developmental domains, develop software to integrate BOLD and ASL data, collect brain activation data using these methods on a specified range of children within the larger range of infancy through 18-years-old, and analyze it longitudinally to look at developmental changes. The contractor shall provide the scientific community with an initial database of these fMRI ?ASL data, provide the users of the database with the protocols and software developed and provide protocol descriptions and any software for tasks developed for the project.

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Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
United States
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