Gemma Nedjati-Gilani1, Torben Schneider2, Bernard M. Siow, 13, Mohamed Tachrount4, Andrew Davies2, Kenneth J. Smith2, Ying Li4, Olga Ciccarelli4, David L. Thomas4, Daniel C. Alexander1, Claudia Angela M. Wheeler-Kingshott2
1Centre for Medical Image Computing, Department of Computer Science, University College London, London, United Kingdom; 2NMR Research Unit, Queen Square MS Centre, Department of Neuroinflammation, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom; 3Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, University College London, London, United Kingdom; 4Department of Brain Repair and Rehabilitation, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom
This works tests the feasibility of parameters from diffusion MR such as exchange time &[tau] i and axonal density f as biomarkers for axonal loss and demyelination, using an animal model of axonal loss in the spinal cord. Preliminary results show a significant decrease in f in regions of axon loss. Exchange time also decreases, but is not necessarily significant. This suggests that f is a potentially useful biomarker of axonal degeneration. Future work will extend the methodology to investigate demyelination.