The neurovascular coupling describes a vasoregulative principle of the brain that adapts local cerebral blood flow in accordance with the underlying neuronal activity. It is the basis of modern indirect brain imaging techniques. Because of its wide availability and high tolerability the functional transcranial Doppler has been often used to assess brain function in clinical conditions. In the present paper we will give an overview of the current understanding of the coupling, explain basic principles of the Doppler technique and summarize relevant findings of functional Doppler tests in the different vascular territories of the brain. Finally, the concept of a combined functional electroencephalogram and transcranial Doppler technique will be outlined, which allows simultaneous investigation of the neuronal and vascular responses of neurovascular coupling.
Copyright © 2012 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.