Realistic white matter models with high b-value, high angular resolution diffusion MRI (PhD)

Why does cognitive ability decline during ageing? Disconnection hypothesis puts the blame on less efficient passage of signals between brain areas. Diffusion MRI can be used to quantify white matter (i.e. connecting tissue) integrity. It yields water diffusivity profiles for each voxel in the brain, which allows the recovery of white matter architecture since coherent axonal bundles introduce diffusion anisotropy. Current tractography algorithms treat each white matter fasciculus as either a streamline of negligible radius or a set of voxels it passes through. As a consequence, popular measures of tract integrity (MD, FA) use data from entire voxels, neglecting partial volume effects. In my project I will describe the whole, physical tracts to provide more accurate estimates.

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Related Publications and Presentations

  • Jakub Przemyslaw Piatkowski, Amos Storkey, and Mark Bastin, “Segmenting white matter structure from diffusion MRI”, ICML Workshop on Statistics, Machine Learning and Neuroscience, 2012.
  • Jakub Przemyslaw Piatkowski, Mark Bastin, and Amos Storkey, “Probing the Brain’s White Matter with Tissue Dependent Diffusion Model”, SINAPSE Annual Scientific Meeting, 2012.
  • Jakub Przemyslaw Piatkowski, Mark Bastin, and Amos Storkey, “Estimating white matter tract volume in partial volume voxels with diffusion MRI”, ISMRM 17th Scientific Meeting and Exhibition, 2009.
  • Jakub Przemyslaw Piatkowski, Mark Bastin, and Amos Storkey, “Discovering white matter structure beyond anisotropy maps with diffusion MRI”, ISMRM and ESMRMB Joint Annual Meeting, 2010.

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