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Abstract #4447

Microstructural brain abnormalities and reorganization of early-blind adolescents: a voxel-based diffusion kurtosis imaging study

Zhifeng Zhou1, Xia Liu2, Long Qian3, Gangqiang Hou2, Wentao Jiang2, and Hengguo Li4
1Radiology, Shenzhen Mental Health Center/Shenzhen Kangning Hospital, Shenzhen, China, 2Shenzhen Mental Health Center/Shenzhen Kangning Hospital, Shenzhen, China, 3GE Healthcare, Beijing, China, 4The First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou, China

An important focus of blind brain research, especially the early-blind brain, is how to identify the specific neural plasticity patterns. Neuroimaging studies, particularly the diffusion MRI, are powerful probes for characterizing the microstructural changes in human brain. Additionally, previous study indicated that the Diffusion Kurtosis Imaging (DKI) is an advanced diffusion model without the assumption of Gaussian distribution. Taken together, it is feasible to utilize the DKI to investigate the structural neuroplasticity in early-blind brain. Our results demonstrated that the neural reorganization and compensatory development process induced by visual deprivation are coexisted in early-blind adolescents. Furthermore, the diffusion kurtosis metrics are more sensitive to detect the pathology and development related brain regions than diffusion tensor metrics.

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