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Imaging Alzheimer's genetic risk using Diffusion MRI: a systematic review

Harrison, Judith R., Bhatia, Sanchita, Tan, Zhao Xuan, Mirza-Davies, Anastasia, Benkert, Hannah, Tax, Chantal M.W. and Jones, Derek K 2020. Imaging Alzheimer's genetic risk using Diffusion MRI: a systematic review. NeuroImage: Clinical 27 , 102359. 10.1016/j.nicl.2020.102359

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Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) is an imaging technique which probes the random motion of water molecules in tissues and has been widely applied to investigate changes in white matter microstructure in Alzheimer’s Disease. This paper aims to systematically review studies that examined the effect of Alzheimer’s risk genes on white matter microstructure. We assimilated findings from 37 studies and reviewed their diffusion pre-processing and analysis methods. Most studies estimate the diffusion tensor (DT) and compare derived quantitative measures such as fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity between groups. Those with increased AD genetic risk are associated with reduced anisotropy and increased diffusivity across the brain, most notably the temporal and frontal lobes, cingulum and corpus callosum. Structural abnormalities are most evident amongst those with established Alzheimer’s Disease. Recent studies employ signal representations and analysis frameworks beyond DT MRI but show that dMRI overall lacks specificity to disease pathology. However, as the field advances, these techniques may prove useful in pre-symptomatic diagnosis or staging of Alzheimer’s disease.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2213-1582
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 July 2020
Date of Acceptance: 20 July 2020
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2021 02:43

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