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Magn Reson Imaging. 2007 Jul;25(6):969-77. Epub 2007 Apr 23.

Diffusion tensor MRI to investigate dementias: a brief review.

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Neuroimaging Laboratory, Fondazione Santa Lucia, IRCCS, Via Ardeatina 306, 00179 Rome, Italy.


Diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DT-MRI) is a powerful quantitative technique with the ability to detect in vivo microscopic characteristics and abnormalities of brain tissue. It has been successfully applied to a number of neurological conditions, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis and brain tumors, providing information otherwise inaccessible on the pathological substrates. DT-MRI has also been used to study patients with cognitive decline, mainly those with Alzheimer's disease. Several image-analysis approaches have been employed, including region of interest, histogram, voxel-based analyses and DT-MRI-based tractography. Specific patterns of spatial distribution of tissue damage and correlations with neuropsychological measures have been reported. This review focuses on the use of DT-MRI to investigate dementias. The main clinical results and the different methods of image analysis will be overviewed and discussed.

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