T1 and T2 relaxation time estimates in the normal human brain

Radiology. 1991 Nov;181(2):537-43. doi: 10.1148/radiology.181.2.1924801.


Magnetic resonance (MR) relaxation time constants T1 and T2 were estimated in frontal and occipital white matter, the caudate nucleus, and the thalamus nucleus in 79 healthy subjects aged 19-85 years. The in vivo estimates were obtained with 0.02-T and 0.8-MHz MR imaging. T1 values were estimated from a series of inversion-recovery images and T2 values from spin-echo images with a single-section, single-echo technique. Although estimates were obtained from only one section, the investigated regions were distinguished from each other by the T1 values. With a polynomial regression test, the T1 data fit a cradle-shaped relation to age, with minimal values at ages 40-45 years. Sex and laterality did not influence the age-dependency results, but differences in the age-dependence curves for men and women were seen. The inclusion of 10 individuals with somatic disorders did not alter the findings.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Characteristics