Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) allow in vivo investigation of molecular motion of tissue water at a microscopic level in cerebral gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM). DWI/DTI measure of water diffusion has been proven to be invaluable for the study of many neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer's disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) that predominantly involve GM. Thus, quantitative analysis of GM diffusivity is of scientific interest and is promised to have a clinical impact on the investigation of normal brain aging and neuropathology. In this paper, we propose an automated framework for analysis of GM diffusivity in 76 standard anatomic subdivisions of gray matter to facilitate studies of neurodegenerative and other gray matter neurological diseases. The computational framework includes three enabling technologies: (1) automatic parcellation of structural MRI GM into 76 precisely defined neuroanatomic subregions ("76-space"), (2) automated segmentation of GM, WM and CSF based on DTI data, and (3) automatic measurement of the average apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) in each segmented GM subregion. We evaluate and validate this computational framework for 76-space GM diffusivity analysis using data from normal volunteers and from patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience