REVIEWMonoamine neurons in the human brain stem: anatomy, magnetic resonance imaging findings, and clinical implicationsSasaki, Makotoa; Shibata, Eria b; Tohyama, Koujiroc; Kudo, Kohsukea; Endoh, Jinb; Otsuka, Kotarob; Sakai, Akiob Author Information aAdvanced Medical Research Center bDepartment of Neuropsychiatry cCenter for EM and Bio-Imaging Research, Iwate Medical University, Uchimaru, Morioka, Japan Correspondence to Makoto Sasaki, MD, Advanced Medical Research Center, Iwate Medical University, 19-1 Uchimaru, Morioka 020-8505, Japan Tel: +81 19 651 5111; fax: +81 19 622 1091; e-mail: [email protected] Received 18 August 2008; accepted 18 August 2008 NeuroReport: November 19, 2008 - Volume 19 - Issue 17 - p 1649-1654 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e328315a637 Buy Metrics Abstract By using high-resolution, conventional, and neuromelanin-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging techniques, we reviewed the normal anatomy of the nuclei consisting of monoamine neurons such as dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and serotoninergic neurons and noted the changes in these nuclei that occur in some degenerative and psychiatric disorders. Multimodal MR images can directly or indirectly help in identifying the substantia nigra, locus ceruleus, and raphe nuclei that contain monoamine neurons. Neuromelanin-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging can detect signal alterations in the substantia nigra pars compacta and/or locus ceruleus that occur in Parkinson's disease and psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. This technique seems to be promising for the noninvasive evaluation of the pathological or functional changes in the monoamine system that occur in degenerative and psychiatric disorders. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.