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Abstract #4684

Diffusional Kurtosis Imaging of White Matter in the Aging Brain

Andreana Benitez 1 , Clifford Chan 1 , Ali Tabesh 1 , Jensen H. Jensen 1 , and Joseph A. Helpern 1

1 Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, United States

Using Diffusional Kurtosis Imaging (DKI), we found significant decline in mean, axial, and radial kurtoses in white matter (WM) in the aging brain (N=27, ages 55-83). We also found that these metrics were correlated with executive functions (i.e. Trailmaking Test-Part B), primarily in fronto-parietal regions, over and above the effect of age. Consistent with and in extension of prior literature, our results highlight the pervasiveness of WM degeneration in the aging brain and its association with executive functions, using a clinically viable innovation in diffusion MRI.

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