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Trinity College Dublin

Alzheimer’s Disease assessed with Diffusion Tensor Imaging and Mixed-Effects Models

Research Field: 
Life Sciences
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Lead PI: 
Dr. Arun Bokde
The pattern of degenerative changes in the white matter (WM) of the brain over the course of ageing in both healthy older people and those suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). In this project, we analyze diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) in healthy controls (CON), and AD patients. DTI allows us to visualize WM tracts in the brain and to assess the effects of neurodegeneration on these tracts. Our data, derived from calculations performed on the Trinity College high performance computer (HPC), seek to provide new methods which can be used for the early diagnosis of AD. Our initial pilot studies have found that particular indices of water diffusion (axial diffusion, radial diffusion and mean diffusivity) are significantly better at pin-pointing the earliest changes that occur in AD, when compared with measures of fractional anisotropy (FA) which are traditionally used in the clinic to assess damage to WM tracts. Our future work aims to develop automated methods of AD diagnosis based on analysis of DTI scans.
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Last updated 20 Oct 2010Contact Research IT.