In Vivo Quantification of White Matter Microstructure for Use in Aging: A Focus on Two Emerging Techniques

Charlton, Rebecca A. 2014. In Vivo Quantification of White Matter Microstructure for Use in Aging: A Focus on Two Emerging Techniques. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 22(2), pp. 111-121. ISSN 1064-7481 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Human brain imaging has seen many advances in the quantification of white matter in vivo. For example, these advances have revealed the association between white matter damage and vascular disease as well as their impact on risk for and development of dementia and depression in an aging population. Current neuroimaging methods to quantify white matter damage provide a foundation for understanding such age-related neuropathology; however, these methods are not as adept at determining the underlying microstructural abnormalities signaling at risk tissue or driving white matter damage in the aging brain. This review will begin with a brief overview of the use of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in understanding white matter alterations in aging before focusing in more detail on select advances in both diffusion-based methods and multi-component relaxometry techniques for imaging white matter microstructural integrity within myelin sheaths and the axons they encase. Although DTI greatly extended the field of white matter interrogation, these more recent technological advances will add clarity to the underlying microstructural mechanisms that contribute to white matter damage. More specifically, the methods highlighted in this review may prove more sensitive (and specific) for determining the contribution of myelin versus axonal integrity to the aging of white matter in brain.

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Multi-component relaxometry, diffusion tensor imaging, myelin, axons, aging

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February 2014Published

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Date Deposited:

08 Nov 2013 08:26

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2017 14:11

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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