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Functional Neurology

Neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging can detect presymptomatic axonal degeneration in the spinal cord of ALS mice

Original Article, 155 - 163
doi: 10.11138/FNeur/2018.33.3.155
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Abstract
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Neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI), a MRI multi-shell diffusion technique, has offered new insights for the study of microstructural changes in neurodegenerative diseases. Mainly, the present study aimed to determine the connection between NODDI-derived parameters and changes in white matter (WM) abnormalities at early stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Spinal cords from ALS mice (G93A-SOD1 mice) were scanned in a Bruker Avance III HD 17.6T magnet. Fluorescent axonal-tagged mice (YFP, G93A-SOD1 mice) were used for quantitative histological analysis. NODDI showed a decrease in intra-cellular volume fraction (-24%) and increases in orientation dispersion index (+35%) and isotropic volume fraction (+33%). In addition, histoathological results demonstrated a reductions in axonal area (-11%) and myelin content (-29%). A histological decrease in WM intra-axonal space (-71%) and an increase in the extra-axonal compartment (+22%) were also detected. Our studies demonstrate that NODDI may be a suitable technique for detecting presymptomatic spinal cord WM microstructural degeneration in ALS.

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