Article Text

Download PDFPDF
E11 Association Between Brain Volume and White Matter Microstructure in Healthy Controls
  1. HE Crawford1,
  2. S Gregory1,
  3. NZ Hobbs1,
  4. H Johnson2,
  5. JH Cole3,
  6. EM Rees1,
  7. IB Malone1,
  8. R Sprengelmeyer4,
  9. A Durr5,
  10. BR Leavitt6,
  11. RAC Roos7,
  12. DR Langbehn8,
  13. GB Landwehrmeyer4,
  14. SJ Tabrizi1,
  15. RI Scahill1
  16. and the TRACK-HD, and PADDINGTON Investigators
  1. 1UCL Institute of Neurology, University College London, UK
  2. 2Department of Psychiatry,University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA
  3. 3Division of Brain Sciences, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, UK
  4. 4Department of Neurology, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany
  5. 5Department of Genetics and Cytogenetics, and INSERM UMR S679, APHP Hôpital de la Salpêtière, Paris, France
  6. 6Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  7. 7Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
  8. 8Departments of Psychiatry and Biostatistics (Secondary), University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA


Background Macrostructural and microstructural neuroimaging measures are potential biomarkers in Huntington’s disease (HD). Macrostructural measures are generally derived from structural T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), while microstructure can be measured using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which indexes the properties of water molecules within white matter (WM) tissue. HD is associated with WM volume and integrity loss but how these two measures interact is not fully understood.

Aims To investigate the relationship between diffusion metrics and brain volume in healthy controls.

Methods 3T MRI and DTI data from 51 control subjects taken from the TRACK-HD and PADDINGTON studies were analysed. Regression analysis and Tract Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) were used to assess the associations between whole brain diffusion metrics: fractional anisotropy; mean diffusivity; axial diffusivity and radial diffusivity, and volumetric measures: whole brain volume; WM and grey matter (GM) volumes (all adjusted for total intracranial volume).

Results Regression analysis revealed a significant relationship between all diffusion metrics and both whole brain and WM volumes. No significant relationship was found between GM and FA. Preliminary TBSS results suggest a significant positive association between whole brain volume and FA in several regions, including the cingulate gyrus, pre- and post central gyri and the putamen.

Conclusions We demonstrated an association between whole brain and WM volume and diffusion-based measures of tissue integrity; this relationship is present in the absence of any disease-related changes. These results may aid our understanding of the underlying pathology and heterogeneity in HD and have implications for biomarker development in the condition.

  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • macrostructure
  • microstructure

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.