Over the last decades MRI has proved to be very useful in the field of drug development and discovery. Pharmacological MRI (phMRI) explores the interaction between brain physiology, neuronal activity and drugs. The BOLD-signal is an indirect method to investigate brain activity by way of measuring task-related hemodynamic changes. Pharmacological substances that induce hemodynamic changes can therefore potentially alter the BOLD-signal that in turn falsely can be interpreted as changes in neuronal activity. It is therefore important to characterize possible effects of a pharmacological substance on the BOLD-response per see before that substance can be used in an fMRI experiment. Furthermore MR-angiography is useful in determining the vascular site-of-action of vasoactive substances.
Journal of Headache and Pain Online, 2013, Vol 14, Issue Suppl 1