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Abstract #2943

Diffusion Changes in Early Brain Development Beyond Diffusion Tensor Imaging

Yasheng Chen1, Hongtu Zhu2, Hongyu An2, Dinggang Shen2, John Gilmore2, Weili Lin2

1University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, United States; 2UNC-CH, Chapel Hill, NC, United States

DTI based early brain developmental study has limitations in quantifying complex white matter structures. In this study, we have performed a large scale longitudinal analysis on diffusion profiles obtained with multiple encoding directions (HARDI). In early brain development, we found significant temporal changes of multiple HARDI parameters including the absolute power, relative weight and geometrical shapes of diffusion profiles represented by high order spherical harmonics. To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first diffusion based early brain developmental study moving beyond the DTI regime.