Novel method to estimate and display cerebral cortical degeneration using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging

Takashi Yoshiura, Futoshi Mihara, Atsuo Tanaka, Tomoyuki Noguchi, Osamu Togao, Yasuo Kuwabara, Hiroshi Honda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have shown that diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) is useful for detecting microstructural degradation of neuronal tissue in neurodegenerative diseases. Mapping of cortical degeneration by DWI is potentially useful, but is extremely difficult, mainly because of the partial volume effect resulting from the surrounding cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In this study a novel method to map and display the cortical damage in neurodegenerative diseases using DWI is proposed. Instead of measuring the cortical diffusivity, the diffusivity of white matter directly beneath the cortex, where neuronal fibers enter or exit the overlying cortex, was measured and mapped onto the cortical surface. The map was viewed in a form of three-dimensional (3D) rendering. Patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) showed cortical damage in the temporal and parietal cortices, and a patient with frontotemporal dementia showed damage in the frontal lobe, consistent with the typical topographical distribution of histopathological cortical damage in each of these diseases. The results suggest that subcortical diffusivity closely reflects cortical damage, and that the current mapping technique is a promising tool for evaluating neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-459
Number of pages5
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2005


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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