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Clin Neuropsychol. 2007 Jan;21(1):73-109.

Neuroimaging of white matter in aging and dementia.

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Brown University Medical School, Providence, RI, USA.


Clinical neuroscientists have focused increasing attention on white matter connections in the brain and on the effects of aging and disease on these connections. Recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) analysis have given researchers new tools for quantifying and visualizing white matter to better relate white matter structure and function. The goals of this article are (a) to acquaint the reader with both established and newer methods for imaging and quantifying white matter anatomy and pathology; and (b) to review recent findings on white matter pathology in aging and dementia. Computer-assisted quantification appears to offer better statistical power than visual rating scales for detecting these relationships. New MR modalities such as diffusion imaging can detect white matter abnormalities not shown with conventional acquisition sequences. These newer techniques hold promise for early detection of disease and for delineating functional connections between brain areas.

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