Project Goal: We are implementing a carefully conceptualized series of MRI brain scans using ultrahigh resolution 7-Tesla imaging in patients with LongCovid and ME/CFS. With our planned sequences we can, in a reliable and replicable fashion, detect a range of potential symptom mechanisms such as structural abnormalities (e.g., CCI), autonomic dysfunction, cerebrospinal fluid flow problems, brain blood flow issues, intracranial pressure evidence, and dysregulation of vagus nerve signaling.

Scans are being performed at the Harvard/MIT-affiliated Martinos Center For Biomedical Imaging – regarded as one of the premiere medical imaging centers in the world, and a hub for the top researchers in related fields. Indeed, the core research team includes Dr. Jonathan Polimeni, who is Director of the Center’s Ultra-High Field Imaging and their top brainstem imaging expert. Other team members include leading experts in autonomic and neurovascular imaging.

The Martinos Center’s 7-Tesla MRI scanner allows for the most detailed neuroimaging in the world. It has more than four times the magnetic field strength of the 1.5 Tesla scanners used in most clinical settings. It can consequently be used to study structural issues and problems with blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow that simply cannot be seen with other MRIs.