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Diffusion MRI in Psychiatric Disorders 

Diffusion MRI in Psychiatric Disorders
Diffusion MRI in Psychiatric Disorders

Tonya White

and Kelvin O. Lim

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date: 27 January 2020

There has been an exponential growth in the application of diffusion tensor imaging to study psychiatric disorders. This growth has been fostered by an emerging literature that implicates aberrant connectivity as a putative factor in the neurobiology of a number of these disorders. While the majority of studies have focused on schizophrenia, DTI has been used to study mood and anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, personality disorders, impulse control disorders, and disorders in children such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The results of these studies show considerable heterogeneity across the different disorders, although specific brain regions are overrepresented in several of the psychiatric disorders. These overrepresented regions may define structures that either predate the illness, and thus serve as a risk factor, or are structures that develop as primary or secondary effects of the illness. Although a relatively recent technology, DTI has shown promise in helping to better understand the underlying neurobiology of the major psychiatric disorders.

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