Matthew D. Budde1, Joseph A. Frank1
1Radiology and Imaging Sciences,
National Institutes of Health,
Within minutes of an ischemic stroke, the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) dramatically decreases in the infarcted brain tissue. Although the ADC change is likely related to cell swelling, the precise biophysical mechanism remains elusive. In this report, it is demonstrated that swelling of axons and dendrites, collectively known as neurites, causes the cell membrane to exhibit a beaded morphology. A simulation of diffusion in beaded neurites was performed and validated in an ex vivo model of beading in sciatic nerves. The results demonstrate that beading of the cell membrane is sufficient to decrease ADC following acute ischemic stroke.