Brain fMRI in clinical pharmacological studies
Tracey I., Schweinhardt P., Bountra C.
© 2006 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. There is no doubt that the academic, industrial, and government communities are recognizing the enormous potential of human brain functional MRI (fMRI) in clinical pharmacological research and drug development. Most of the major pharmaceutical industries have embraced this new technology either via academic collaborations and/or by establishing the methodology in-house. The hope is that fMRI may allow us to demonstrate a functional effect with a potential drug (enhanced or reduced activation) in specific brain regions, in relatively small numbers of patients (n 1/4 10-12). If this did prove to be feasible it offers the potential to evaluate many more molecules in clinical settings quickly. This is potentially very exciting, because one of the challenges faced by the pharmaceutical industry today is the great diversity of potential targets and even greater number of new chemical entities to evaluate in patients.