Diffusion-tensor MR imaging and tractography: exploring brain microstructure and connectivity.
ABSTRACT Diffusion magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is evolving into a potent tool in the examination of the central nervous system. Although it is often used for the detection of acute ischemia, evaluation of directionality in a diffusion measurement can be useful in white matter, which demonstrates strong diffusion anisotropy. Techniques such as diffusion-tensor imaging offer a glimpse into brain microstructure at a scale that is not easily accessible with other modalities, in some cases improving the detection and characterization of white matter abnormalities. Diffusion MR tractography offers an overall view of brain anatomy, including the degree of connectivity between different regions of the brain. However, optimal utilization of the wide range of data provided with directional diffusion MR measurements requires careful attention to acquisition and postprocessing. This article will review the principles of diffusion contrast and anisotropy, as well as clinical applications in psychiatric, developmental, neurodegenerative, neoplastic, demyelinating, and other types of disease.
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ABSTRACT: The functional organization of the brain in segregated neuronal networks has become a leading paradigm in the study of brain diseases. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) allows testing the validity and clinical utility of this paradigm on the structural connectivity level. DTI in Alzheimer's disease (AD) suggests a selective impairment of intracortical projecting fiber tracts underlying the functional disorganization of neuronal networks supporting memory and other cognitive functions. These findings have already been tested for their utility as clinical markers of AD in large multicenter studies. Affective disorders, including major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BP), show a high comorbidity with AD in geriatric populations and may even have a pathogenetic overlap with AD. DTI studies in MDD and BP are still limited to small-scale monocenter studies, revealing subtle abnormalities in cortico-subcortial networks associated with affect regulation and reward/aversion control. The clinical utility of these findings remains to be further explored. The present paper presents the methodological background of diffusion imaging, including DTI and diffusion spectrum imaging, and discusses key findings in AD and affective disorders. The results of our review strongly point toward the necessity of large-scale multicenter multimodal transnosological networks to study the structural and functional basis of neuronal disconnection underlying different neuropsychiatric diseases.European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 03/2014; · 2.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The rhesus macaque exhibits age-related brain changes similar to humans, making an excellent model of normal aging. Calorie restriction is a dietary intervention that reduces age-related comorbidities in short-lived animals, and its effects are still under study in rhesus macaques. Here, using deterministic fiber tracking method, we examined the effects of age and calorie restriction on a diffusion tensor imaging measure of white matter integrity, fractional anisotropy (FA), within white matter tracks traversing the anterior (genu) and posterior (splenium) corpus callosum in rhesus monkeys. Our results show: (1) a significant inverse relationship between age and mean FA of tracks traversing the genu and splenium; (2) higher mean FA of the splenium tracks as compared to that of genu tracks across groups; and (3) no significant diet effect on mean track FA through either location. These results are congruent with the age-related decline in white matter integrity reported in humans and monkeys, and the anterior-to-posterior gradient in white matter vulnerability to normal aging in humans. Further studies are warranted to critically evaluate the effect of calorie restriction on brain aging in this unique cohort of elderly primates.Neuroscience Letters 03/2014; · 2.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Drug-resistant epilepsy is a chronic debilitating disorder, but many cases are potentially curable by surgery. The key to the successful epilepsy surgery with complete postoperative seizure-free status is precise localization of the epileptic zone that must be resected and the adjacent eloquent areas of gray and white matter that must be preserved to avoid neurological defects. This article reviews the current state of the art epilepsy imaging techniques facilitating successful epilepsy surgery. The overview of the imaging appearances of the most common epileptogenic etiologies that are amenable to surgical resection is also included in this review.Clinical nuclear medicine 06/2014; 39(6):511-26. · 3.92 Impact Factor