Advanced diffusion MRI fiber tracking in neurosurgical and neurodegenerative disorders and neuroanatomical studies: A review BIOCHIMICA ET BIOPHYSICA ACTA-MOLECULAR BASIS OF DISEASE Abhinav, K., Yeh, F., Pathak, S., Suski, V., Lacomis, D., Friedlander, R. M., Fernandez-Miranda, J. C. 2014; 1842 (11): 2286–97


Diffusion MRI enabled in vivo microstructural imaging of the fiber tracts in the brain resulting in its application in a wide range of settings, including in neurological and neurosurgical disorders. Conventional approaches such as diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) have been shown to have limited applications due to the crossing fiber problem and the susceptibility of their quantitative indices to partial volume effects. To overcome these limitations, the recent focus has shifted to the advanced acquisition methods and their related analytical approaches. Advanced white matter imaging techniques provide superior qualitative data in terms of demonstration of multiple crossing fibers in their spatial orientation in a three dimensional manner in the brain. In this review paper, we discuss the advancements in diffusion MRI and introduce their roles. Using examples, we demonstrate the role of advanced diffusion MRI-based fiber tracking in neuroanatomical studies. Results from its preliminary application in the evaluation of intracranial space occupying lesions, including with respect to future directions for prognostication, are also presented. Building upon the previous DTI studies assessing white matter disease in Huntington's disease and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; we also discuss approaches which have led to encouraging preliminary results towards developing an imaging biomarker for these conditions.

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