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Ann Neurol. 2010 Feb;67(2):265-9. doi: 10.1002/ana.21826.

The location of white matter lesions and gait--a voxel-based study.

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Stroke and Ageing Research Group, Neurosciences, Department of Medicine, Southern Clinical School, Monash Medical Centre, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


Little is known about the influence of cerebral white matter lesion (WML) location on gait. We applied partial least squares regression in brain magnetic resonance imaging scans (n = 385) to evaluate which WML voxel systems were independently associated with a composite gait score and identified affected tracts using a diffusion tensor imaging template. Bilateral frontal and periventricular WML-affected voxels corresponding to major anterior projection fibers (thalamic radiations, corticofugal motor tracts) and adjacent association fibers (corpus callosum, superior fronto-occipital fasciculus, short association fibers) showed the greatest covariance with poorer gait. WMLs probably contribute to age-related gait decline by disconnecting motor networks served by these tracts.

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