The spinal cord, brainstem, and cerebellum are crucial yet vulnerable aspects of the central nervous system (CNS) but have been relatively understudied in vivo given that their unique anatomies present challenging imaging targets. This dissertation develops techniques to study the microarchitecture of these critical CNS structures through diffusion weighted (DW) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques. While this work may be applied to other DW techniques, we focus on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and q-space imaging. DTI enables investigation of microarchitecture and connectivity of oriented tissues (e.g., cerebral white matter) through three-dimensional tensor models of local diffusivity, while q-space imaging is an emerging diffusion weighted MRI technique to estimate one-dimensional projections of the local diffusivity without the need to assume a particular diffusivity model. To enable DW imaging of the spinal cord, brainstem, and cerebellum, we specifically focus on statistically motivated image analysis techniques to make best use of the information present in acquired DW images.Diagram (A) is shown at the thoracic level; histological sections (B, C) of the human spinal cord are shown at C7. ... The spinothalamic (5) and spinocerebellar (6) carry sensory information, while the lateral corticospinal (7), ventral tracts (8), anbsp;...
|Title||:||Diffusion Imaging of the in Vivo Spinal Cord and Cerebellum: Optimization, Representation, and Analysis of Diffusion Weighted MRI.|
|Publisher||:||ProQuest - 2009|