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Abstract #0504

Combined tract-based analysis of diffusion fractional anisotropy and quantitative susceptibility mapping: a joint assessment of axonal and myelin microstructural changes in children with cerebral palsy

Lijia Zhang1, Lyon Wade Chen1, Susan Ellor1, Jessica Sun1, Joanne Kurtzberg1, and Allen Song1

1Brain Imaging and Analysis Center, Durham, NC, United States

In this report we developed a tract-based diffusion anisotropy and magnetic susceptibility analysis approach to jointly evaluate the potential mechanisms for axonal growth and myelin repair in children undergoing autologous cord blood stem cell therapy. Advancing from our prior findings that baseline brain connectivity is correlated with CP disease severity and that brain connectivity increase is correlated with functional motor improvement in CP patients, we provide further evidence that the increased brain connectivity may be the result of increased myelination of the affected neural pathways, in addition to the possibility of axonal regeneration.

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