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Neurosci Lett. 2012 Feb 2;508(1):9-12. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2011.11.030. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

Corticoreticular pathway in the human brain: diffusion tensor tractography study.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Republic of Korea.


The corticoreticular pathway (CRP) is involved in postural control and locomotor function. No study has been conducted for identification of the CRP in the human brain. In the current study, we attempted to identify the CRP in the human brain, using diffusion tensor tractography (DTT). We recruited 24 healthy volunteers for this study. Diffusion tensor images were scanned using 1.5-T. For reconstruction of the CRP, a seed region of interest (ROI) was placed on the reticular formation of the medulla. The first target ROI was placed on the midbrain tegmentum and the second target ROI was placed on the premotor cortex (Brodmann area 6). Values of fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, and tract volume of the CRP were measured. The CRP, which originated from the premotor cortex, descended through the corona radiata and the posterior limb of the internal capsule anterior to the corticospinal tract. In the midbrain and pons, it passed through the tegmentum and terminated at the pontomedullary reticular formation. No differences in terms of fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, and tract volume were observed between hemispheres (P>0.05). We identified the CRP in the human brain using DTT. These methods and results would be helpful to both clinicians and researchers in the neuroscience field.

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