Diffusion tensor histology holds great promise for quantitative characterization of structural connectivity in mouse models of neurological and psychiatric conditions. There has been extensive study in both the clinical and preclinical domains on the complex tradeoffs between the spatial resolution, the number of samples in diffusion q-space, scan time, and the reliability of the resultant data. We describe here a method for accelerating the acquisition of diffusion MRI data to support quantitative connectivity measurements in the whole mouse brain using compressed sensing (CS). The use of CS allows substantial increase in spatial resolution and/or reduction in scan time. Compared to the fully sampled results at the same scan time, the subtle anatomical details of the brain, such as cortical layers, dentate gyrus, and cerebellum, were better visualized using CS due to the higher spatial resolution. Compared to the fully sampled results at the same spatial resolution, the scalar diffusion metrics, including fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD), showed consistently low error across the whole brain (< 6.0%) even with 8.0 times acceleration. The node properties of connectivity (strength, cluster coefficient, eigenvector centrality, and local efficiency) demonstrated correlation of better than 95.0% between accelerated and fully sampled connectomes. The acceleration will enable routine application of this technology to a wide range of mouse models of neurologic diseases.
Because the roles of striatal-thalamo-cortical and cerebello-thalamo-cortical circuits in the heterogeneous motor impairments of Parkinson's disease (PD) are becoming recognized, this study was designed to investigate the relationships between regional iron in the cardinal subcortical nuclei in these circuits and the different motor impairments. Sixty-two PD patients and 40 normal subjects were included and accepted for Enhanced T -Star Weighted Angiography Scanning (3.0T). According to the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, patients were divided into tremor-dominant (PD-TD) and akinetic/rigid-dominant groups (PD-AR). The intergroup differences of magnetic susceptibility in those cardinal nuclei were measured. Correlation analyses between magnetic susceptibility and motor impairments were performed in all patients. Nigral magnetic susceptibility significantly increased for each PD group compared with controls (P < 0.001 for PD-TD; P = 0.001 for PD-AR). Magnetic susceptibility in the dentate nucleus (DN) and red nucleus (RN) for the PD-TD patients were significantly increased compared with controls (P < 0.001 and P = 0.004, respectively). Magnetic susceptibility in these regions was also significantly correlated with tremor severity (r = 0.444, P = 0.001 for DN; r = 0.418, P = 0.001 for RN). Significant correlation between caudate magnetic susceptibility and akinetic/rigid severity were observed (r = -0.322, P = 0.015). This study provides evidence that nigral iron accumulation is a common characteristic in PD, while iron accumulation in the DN and RN is correlated with tremor symptoms. Our data also indicate that caudate iron content may be a potential marker for akinetic/rigid progression. 3 J. MAGN. RESON. IMAGING 2017;45:1335-1342.
The progression of Parkinson's disease (PD) seems to vary according to the disease stage, which greatly influences the management of PD patients. However, the underlying mechanism of progression in PD remains unclear. This study was designed to explore the progressive pattern of iron accumulation at different stages in PD patients. Sixty right-handed PD patients and 40 normal controls were recruited. According to the disease stage, 45 patients with Hoehn-Yahr stage ≤ 2.5 and 15 patients with Hoehn-Yahr stage ≥ 3 were grouped into early-stage PD (EPD) and late-stage PD (LPD) groups, respectively. The iron content in the cardinal subcortical nuclei covering the cerebrum, cerebellum and midbrain was measured using quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM). The substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) showed significantly increased QSM values in the EPD patients compared with the controls. In the LPD patients, while the SNc continued to show increased QSM values compared with the controls and EPD patients, the regions showing increased QSM values spread to include the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr), red nucleus (RN) and globus pallidus (GP). Our data also indicated that iron deposition was more significant in the GP internal segment (GPi) than in the GP external segment. No other regions showed significant changes in QSM values among the groups. Therefore, we were able to confirm a regionally progressive pattern of iron accumulation in the different stages of PD, indicating that iron deposition in the SNc is affected exclusively in the early stages of the disease, while the SNr, RN and GP, and particularly the GPi segment, become involved in advanced stages of the disease. This is a preliminary study providing objective evidence of the iron-related progression in PD. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.