Activities and Seminars

Silvia De Santis. Exploring white matter micro-architecture using non-tensor diffusion MRI
Date: Jan 22, 2015

What: Exploring white matter micro-architecture using non-tensor diffusion MRI

Where: BCBL auditorium

Who: Silvia De Santis, PhD. Postdoctoral Researcher, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.

When: 12 noon

While diffusion tensor MRI (DTI) has proven to be an incredibly powerful tool over recent years, several studies highlighted its intrinsic lack of specificity to distinct attributes of the white matter (e.g., local fibre architecture, axon morphology, myelin content). Understanding the role of white matter microstructure in brain function, development and disease demands more specific indices that tap into its sub-components. Non-tensor approaches, based on biophysical models of the brain tissue, have the ability to increase the specificity of DTI analysis. I will be talking about state-of-the-art techniques to measure axonal density, diameter and myelination. Specifically, I will illustrate recent advances on CHARMED and AxCaliber techniques to map the axonal density and diameter in vivo on human brain. I will also talk about a new technique, called inversion-recovery DTI, which is able to simultaneously resolve, for the first time, axonal and myelin properties in areas of fiber crossing. I will show ex vivo and in vivo results obtained on the rodent brain and in vivo on the human brain. Furthermore, I will present two examples of how non-tensor techniques can give more insights into both neuroscientific and clinical questions. Specifically, I will illustrate the benefit of monitoring brain training using axonal density and the ability of non-tensor DTI to discriminate Parkinson’s population from age-matched healthy controls.