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Diffusion imaging in dementia with Lewy bodies: Associations with amyloid burden, atrophy, vascular factors and clinical features

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paul Donaghy, Dr Michael FirbankORCiD, Dr George Petrides, Dr James LloydORCiD, Nicola Barnett, Kirsty OlsenORCiD, Professor Alan ThomasORCiD, Professor John O'Brien



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2020 Elsevier Ltd. Introduction: White matter disruption in dementia has been linked to a variety of factors including vascular disease and cortical pathology. We aimed to examine the relationship between white matter changes on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in DLB and factors including vascular disease, structural atrophy and amyloid burden. Methods: Participants with DLB (n = 29), Alzheimer's disease (AD, n = 17) and healthy controls (n = 20) had clinical and neuropsychological assessments followed by structural and diffusion tensor 3T MRI and 18F-Florbetapir PET-CT imaging. Voxelwise statistical analysis of white matter fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) was carried out using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics with family-wise error correction (p < 0.05). Results: DLB and AD groups demonstrated widespread increased MD and decreased FA when compared with controls. There were no differences between the DLB and AD groups. In DLB, increased MD and decreased FA correlated with decreased grey matter and hippocampal volumes as well as vascular disease. There was no correlation with cortical florbetapir SUVR. The relationship between DTI changes and grey matter/hippocampal volumes remained after including Cumulative Illness Rating Scale-Geriatric vascular score as a covariate. Conclusions: Widespread disruption of white matter tracts is present in DLB and is associated with vascular disease, reduced hippocampal volume and reduced grey matter volume, but not with cortical amyloid deposition. The mechanism behind the correlation observed between hippocampal volume and white matter tract disruption should be investigated in future cohorts using tau imaging, as hippocampal atrophy has been shown to correlate with tau deposition in DLB.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Donaghy PC, Firbank M, Petrides G, Lloyd J, Barnett N, Olsen K, Thomas AJ, O'Brien JT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Parkinsonism and Related Disorders

Year: 2020

Volume: 78

Pages: 109-115

Print publication date: 01/09/2020

Online publication date: 10/08/2020

Acceptance date: 25/07/2020

Date deposited: 27/07/2020

ISSN (print): 1353-8020

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5126

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2020.07.025


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