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What Makes Diffusion Anisotropic in the Nervous System? 

What Makes Diffusion Anisotropic in the Nervous System?
Chapter:
What Makes Diffusion Anisotropic in the Nervous System?
Author(s):

Christian Beaulieu

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780195369779.003.0007
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date: 15 October 2018

Water molecules diffuse more rapidly along nerve or white matter tracts than across them, resulting in anisotropic diffusion that can be quantified by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). In order better to interpret DTI results, an understanding of the potential relationships between diffusion measurements and the underlying tissue microstructure is required, as well as recognition of the limitations in this regard. This chapter presents many of the basic diffusion MRI studies that have attempted to sort out the potential contributions from magnetic susceptibility, the cytoskeleton, axonal membranes, and myelin to the degree of anisotropic water diffusion.

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