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Abstract #5266

Diffusion Changes in Normal-Appearing White Matter in Tracts Affected by White Matter Hyperintensities

Rozanna Meijboom1,2, Susana Muñoz Maniega1,2, Maria Valdés Hernández1,2, Nathalie Royle1, Zoe Morris1, John Starr3, Mark Bastin1,2, Ian Deary4, and Joanna Wardlaw1,2

1Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 2UK Dementia Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 3Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 4Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

White matter hyperintensities (WMH) are common in older brains. We analyzed how WMH affect white matter (WM) tracts and particularly their normal-appearing WM (NAWM). We used MRI of 52 participants (72.2±0.7y) to quantify diffusion parameters of WMH-affected tracts. The intersections of tracts with WMH were identified and volumes quantified. Diffusion parameters were measured for tract-WMH, tract-NAWM, and for tract-NAWM at different distances from the tract-WMH edge, and from the edge of nearby—non-intersecting—WMH. Tract-NAWM showed a gradient of diffusion abnormalities away from tract-WMH, and nearby-WMH. Tract-WMH diffusion, and either tract-WMH volume or whole-brain WMH load, predicted tract-NAWM diffusion.

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