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Abstract #0723

Characterizing white matter lesions in multiple sclerosis with time-dependent diffusion MRI reveals the signature of axonal beading

Hong-Hsi Lee1, Dmitry S Novikov1, and Els Fieremans1
1Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY, United States

We observe diffusivity time-dependence along white matter axons in normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) and lesions in 5 relapse remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The long-time diffusivity along axons is higher in MS lesion than that in NAWM due to persistent demyelination and axonal loss, consistent with previous studies. Further, the axial diffusivity time-dependence is weaker in MS lesions than in NAWM, probably caused by beading due to increased mitochondria in astrocytes/axons in MS lesions. we propose the axial diffusivity time-dependence as a potential specific biomarker for beading, to monitor the progression and treatment response of MS.

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