bridging the micro-macro gap with diffusion MRI

On the scaling behavior of water diffusion in human brain white matter.

TitleOn the scaling behavior of water diffusion in human brain white matter.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsVeraart, J, Fieremans, E, Novikov, DS
Date PublishedJan
ISSN1095-9572 (Electronic); 1053-8119 (Linking)
Keywords*Axon diameter, *Diffusion MRI, *Modeling, *Power law scaling, *Validation, *White matter

Development of therapies for neurological disorders depends on our ability to non-invasively diagnose and monitor the progression of underlying pathologies at the cellular level. Physics and physiology limit the resolution of human MRI to be orders of magnitude coarser than cell dimensions. Here we identify and quantify the MRI signal coming from within micrometer-thin axons in human white matter tracts in vivo, by utilizing the sensitivity of diffusion MRI to Brownian motion of water molecules restricted by cell walls. We study a specific power-law scaling of the diffusion MRI signal with the diffusion weighting, predicted for water confined to narrow axons, and quantify axonal water fraction and orientation dispersion.

PubMed ID30292815
Research Category: 

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