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In vivo correlation between axon diameter and conduction velocity in the human brain

Horowitz, Assaf, Barazany, Daniel, Tavor, Ido, Bernstein, Moran, Yovel, Galit and Assaf, Yaniv 2015. In vivo correlation between axon diameter and conduction velocity in the human brain. Brain Structure and Function 220 (3) , pp. 1777-1788. 10.1007/s00429-014-0871-0

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The understanding of the relationship between structure and function has always characterized biology in general and neurobiology in particular. One such fundamental relationship is that between axon diameter and the axon's conduction velocity (ACV). Measurement of these neuronal properties, however, requires invasive procedures that preclude direct elucidation of this relationship in vivo. Here we demonstrate that diffusion-based MRI is sensitive to the fine microstructural elements of brain wiring and can be used to quantify axon diameter in vivo. Moreover, we demonstrate the in vivo correlation between the diameter of an axon and its conduction velocity in the human brain. Using AxCaliber, a novel magnetic resonance imaging technique that enables us to estimate in vivo axon diameter distribution (ADD) and by measuring the interhemispheric transfer time (IHTT) by electroencephalography, we found significant linear correlation, across a cohort of subjects, between brain microstructure morphology (ADD) and its physiology (ACV) in the tactile and visual sensory domains. The ability to make a quantitative assessment of a fundamental physiological property in the human brain from in vivo measurements of ADD may shed new light on neurological processes occurring in neuroplasticity as well as in neurological disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1863-2653
Date of Acceptance: 6 August 2014
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2019 02:16

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