Evaluation of glymphatic system activity with the diffusion MR technique: diffusion tensor image analysis along the perivascular space (DTI-ALPS) in Alzheimer's disease cases

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Purpose: The activity of the glymphatic system is impaired in animal models of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We evaluated the activity of the human glymphatic system in cases of AD with a diffusion-based technique called diffusion tensor image analysis along the perivascular space (DTI-ALPS). Materials and methods: Diffusion tensor images were acquired to calculate diffusivities in the x, y, and z axes of the plane of the lateral ventricle body in 31 patients. We evaluated the diffusivity along the perivascular spaces as well as projection fibers and association fibers separately, to acquire an index for diffusivity along the perivascular space (ALPS-index) and correlated them with the mini mental state examinations (MMSE) score. Results: We found a significant negative correlation between diffusivity along the projection fibers and association fibers. We also observed a significant positive correlation between diffusivity along perivascular spaces shown as ALPS-index and the MMSE score, indicating lower water diffusivity along the perivascular space in relation to AD severity. Conclusion: Activity of the glymphatic system may be evaluated with diffusion images. Lower diffusivity along the perivascular space on DTI-APLS seems to reflect impairment of the glymphatic system. This method may be useful for evaluating the activity of the glymphatic system.


  • Japanese Journal of Radiology

    Japanese Journal of Radiology 35(4), 172-178, 2017-04



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