Is the Superficial White Matter Important in Alzheimers Disease?
Owen R. Phillips 1,2 , Shantanu H. Joshi 3 , Fabrizio Piras 4 , Maria D. Orfei 4 , Mariangela Iorio 4 , Katherine L. Narr 3 , David W. Shattuck 3 , Carlo Caltagirone 1,2 , Gianfranco Spalletta 4 , and Margherita Di Paola 1,5
Clinical and Behavioural Neurology, IRCCS
Santa Lucia Foundation, roma, Lazio, Italy,
University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Roma, Italy,
Ahmanson Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, Los Angeles, CA,
Laboratory, Clinical and Behavioural Neurology, IRCCS
Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Roma, Italy,
Studies, LUMSA University, Rome, Italy
The late myelinating superficial white matter (SWM)
comprised of intracortical myelin and short-range
association fibers has not received much attention in
Alzheimers disease (AD) research. As the SWM is
vulnerable to the normal effects of age, we hypothesized
that it would be impaired in AD. We used a combined
cortical pattern matching and DTI approach to measure
mean diffusivity. We found significant increases in mean
diffusivity across most of the brain in AD patients,
which suggest the tissue is impaired. Given the unique
cellular makeup and its importance in neuronal
synchrony, the SWM may play an important role in AD.
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