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Abstract #2896

Reliable Segmentation of Subcortical Gray Matter Structures Using Magnetization Transfer (MT) Maps

Nikolaus Weiskopf1, Bogdan Draganski1,2, Richard Frackowiak1, John Ashburner1, Gunther Helms3

1Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, London, UK; 2Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany; 3MR-Research in Neurology and Psychiatry, Goettingen University, Goettingen, Germany

Segmentation and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) of subcortical structures is partly limited by the reduced contrast of these structures in T1w images that it is based on. We have developed a novel approach based on magnetization transfer (MT) maps instead of T1w images. MT maps are not affected by T1 shortening due to iron accumulation that degrades T1 contrast. We have demonstrated, in a group of 49 subjects, that MT-based segmentation improves the delineation of subcortical structures significantly. Thus, this method promises to be a powerful novel approach to MRI based morphometric descriptions of subcortical structures.