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Quantification of the spatiotemporal microstructural organization of the human brain association, projection and commissural pathways across the lifespan using diffusion tensor tractography

Abstract

Using diffusion tensor tractography, we quantified the microstructural changes in the association, projection, and commissural compact white matter pathways of the human brain over the lifespan in a cohort of healthy right-handed children and adults aged 6–68 years. In both males and females, the diffusion tensor radial diffusivity of the bilateral arcuate fasciculus, inferior longitudinal fasciculus, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, uncinate fasciculus, corticospinal, somatosensory tracts, and the corpus callosum followed a U-curve with advancing age; fractional anisotropy in the same pathways followed an inverted U-curve. Our study provides useful baseline data for the interpretation of data collected from patients.

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Abbreviations

A:

Adults

AF:

Arcuate fasciculus

B:

Boys

C:

Children

CC:

Corpus callosum

CST:

Corticospinal tract

DTI:

Diffusion tensor imaging

DTT:

Diffusion tensor tractography

DT-FT:

Diffusion tensor fiber tracking

G:

Girls

gCC:

Genu of the corpus callosum

FA:

Fractional anisotropy

AFP:

Fronto-parietal segment of arcuate fasciculus

AFT:

Fronto-temporal segment of arcuate fasciculus

IFOF:

Inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus

ILF:

Inferior longitudinal fasciculus

L:

Left

M:

Men

MRI:

Magnetic resonance imaging

pLIC:

Poster limb of internal capsule

R:

Right

ROI:

Region-of-interest

SNR:

Signal-to-noise ratio

sCC:

Splenium of the corpus callosum

SS:

Somatosensory pathway

ATP:

Temporo-parietal segment of arcuate fasciculus

UF:

Uncinate fasciculus

VBA:

Voxel-based analysis

W:

Women

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Acknowledgments

This work is funded by NIH R01 NS052505-04 awarded to KMH, NINDS R01 NS046308 awarded to LEC and P01 HD35946 awarded to JMF. The assistance of Vipul Kumar Patel in data acquisition is appreciated.

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Correspondence to Khader M. Hasan.

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Hasan, K.M., Kamali, A., Abid, H. et al. Quantification of the spatiotemporal microstructural organization of the human brain association, projection and commissural pathways across the lifespan using diffusion tensor tractography. Brain Struct Funct 214, 361–373 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00429-009-0238-0

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Keywords

  • Lifespan
  • White matter fiber tract development
  • Association
  • Projection
  • Commissural pathways
  • Aging
  • Nonlinear trajectories
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Tractography