Longitudinal diffusion tensor imaging in dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease

Michael J. Firbank, Rosie Watson, Elijah Mak, Benjamin Aribisala, Robert Barber, Sean J. Colloby, Jiabao He, Andrew M. Blamire, John T. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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OBJECTIVE: Changes in the white matter of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been reported using diffusion weighted MRI, though few longitudinal studies have been done.

METHODS: We performed diffusion weighted MRI twice, a year apart on 23 AD, 14 DLB, and 32 healthy control subjects. Mean diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy (FA) were calculated.

RESULTS: In AD, there were widespread regions where the longitudinal MD increase was greater than in controls, and small areas in the parietal and temporal lobes where it was greater in AD than DLB. In AD, decrease in brain volume correlated with increased MD. There were no significant differences in progression between DLB and controls.

CONCLUSIONS: In AD the white matter continues to degenerate during the disease process, whereas in DLB, changes in the white matter structure are a relatively early feature. Different mechanisms are likely to underpin changes in diffusivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-80
Number of pages5
JournalParkinsonism & Related Disorders
Early online date6 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • DWI
  • MRI


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