Martina F. Callaghan1, Patrick Freund1, 2, Bogdan Draganski3, Marinella Cappelletti1, Thomas Fitzgerald1, Peter Smittenaar1, Antoine Lutti1, Nikolaus Weiskopf1
1Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom; 2Spinal Cord Injury Center Balgrist, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 3LREN, Department des Neurosciences Cliniques, CHUV, Universite de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
Quantitative MR parameters reflect changes occurring in tissue on a microstructural level. We acquired quantitative maps of longitudinal relaxation rate (R1), transverse relaxation rate (R2*) and magnetisation transfer (MT) from a population of 100 healthy volunteers with an age range of 18-74 years. Voxel-based statistical analysis of the whole brain, incorporating spinal cord metrics, identified changes significantly correlated with age consistent with changes in myelination and iron content known to occur on a microstructural level during aging. Robust quantitative mapping will be of great benefit for establishing normative parameter values and gaining insight into the underlying causes of pathological conditions.