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Abstract #0429

Demyelination versus increased free water in schizophrenia: A pilot study using q-space trajectory imaging

Markus Nilsson 1 , Filip Szczepankiewicz 2 , Danielle van Westen 3 , Cecilia Mattisson 4 , Mats Bogren 4 , Ofer Pasternak 5 , Marek Kubicki 5 , and Carl-Fredrik Westin 5,6

1 Lund University Bioimaging Center, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, 2 Dept. of Medical Radiation Physics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, 3 Diagnostic Radiology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, 4 Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, 5 Brigham and Womens Hospital, Harvard Medical School, MA, United States, 6 Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Linkping University, Linkping, Sweden

In this work, we estimate the second and fourth moments, i.e. the mean (2nd order tensor) and the covariance (4th order tensor) of a distribution of tensors. Estimation of the covariance tensor is not possible with conventional diffusion encoding, but was enabled by q-space trajectory imaging (QTI). We compare novel invariant scalar quantities of the 4th order tensor between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls, and conclude that the changes observed in schizophrenia are not well explained by elevated radial diffusivity, e.g. cellular pathology such as demyelination, but very well by increased levels of free water, e.g. axonal loss or atrophy.

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