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Towards multicentre diffusion MRI studies in cerebral small vessel disease
  1. Alberto de Luca1,2,
  2. Geert Jan Biessels1
  1. 1 Department of Neurology, UMC Utrecht Brain Center, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Department of Radiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Geert Jan Biessels, Department of Neurology, UMC Utrecht, Utrecht 3508GA, The Netherlands; g.j.biessels{at}

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Diffusion MRI metrics help to explain variance in cognitive performance in patients with cerebral small vessel disease

Diffusion MRI can provide unique insights into the structure of the human brain. By exploiting motion of water molecules as a contrast mechanism, diffusion MRI informs about tissue properties at a scale well beyond conventional structural MRI. Diffusion MRI metrics derived with diffusion tensor imaging and higher order models are emerging as powerful biomarkers of cerebral white matter injury in the context of small vessel disease. For example, the diffusion tensor imaging-derived metric peak width of skeletonised mean diffusivity (PSMD) was shown to better explain interindividual variation in cognitive function than conventional small vessel disease MRI lesion markers.1 While many diffusion MRI metrics have shown promise in dedicated monocentre studies, their applicability in multicentre …

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  • Contributors GJB and AdL have authored this commentary.

  • Funding The research of AdL and GJB is supported by Vici Grant 918.16.616 from ZonMw, The Netherlands, Organisation for Health Research and Development (PI, GJ Biessels).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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