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Alzheimers Dement (Amst). 2019 Aug 21;11:576-587. doi: 10.1016/j.dadm.2019.06.003. eCollection 2019 Dec.

White matter alterations in early-stage Alzheimer's disease: A tract-specific study.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
2
Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
3
University Information Technology Service - Research Technology, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
4
Department of Biostatistics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
5
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA.
6
Department of Neurology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
7
Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.

Abstract

Introduction:

Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging may allow for microscopic characterization of white matter degeneration in early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Methods:

Multishell Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired from 100 participants (40 cognitively normal, 38 with subjective cognitive decline, and 22 with mild cognitive impairment [MCI]). White matter microscopic degeneration in 27 major tracts of interest was assessed using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging, and q-space imaging.

Results:

Lower DTI fractional anisotropy and higher radial diffusivity were observed in the cingulum, thalamic radiation, and forceps major of participants with MCI. These tracts of interest also had the highest predictive power to discriminate groups. Diffusion metrics were associated with cognitive performance, particularly Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test immediate recall, with the highest association observed in participants with MCI.

Discussion:

While DTI was the most sensitive, neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging and q-space imaging complementarily characterized reduced axonal density accompanied with dispersed and less restricted white matter microstructures.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer's disease; Diffusion imaging; MCI; Magnetic resonance imaging; NODDI; SCD; Tract; Tractography; White matter; diffusion tensor imaging

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