Tuesday, May 24, 2022

What Does White Matter In The Brain Mean

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What Causes An Increase Of White Matter In Brain

The Basics: White Matter Disease | WebMD

Other causes can be neurological diseases that can specifically target the brain. There are also some external factors that can cause white matter changes, such as recreational drugs, inhalants, and other substances that are harmful to a persons overall health. One common factor that causes changes in white matter is aging.

Image Processing And Statistical Analyses

Eddy current effects in the diffusion-weighted images were unwarped prior to averaging . Averaging of the four magnitude images efficiently removed the effect of gradient cross-terms between the diffusion sensitizing and imaging gradients . Fractional anisotropy was calculated for each voxel according to methods described by to produce an FA image. A T2-weighted image map was used to determine normalizing parameters subsequently applied to the fractional anisotropy images using Statistic Parametric Mapping software . Normalized FA images were smoothed with a 4 mm kernel to increase the signal-to-noise ratio. Subsequently, a linear regression model was used to correlate the FA maps with subject’s age on a voxel-by-voxel basis. Finally, to determine the presence of significant clusters of differences, the joint expected probability distribution of the height and extent of Z-scores with height and extent thresholds, was used to correct for spatial correlation in the data . Using a spatially normalized, average T1-weighted image for all subjects a white matter cerebral mask was created and used to highlight changes in white matter tracts eliminating noise and edge effects.

White Matter Anisotropy Changes With Age In Prefrontal Regions

As children mature, they become more capable of executing tasks that require complex cognitive functioning. Contributing to this cognitive development are capabilities such as working memory, inhibition and attention. These capabilities improve with age , and have been attributed at least partially to prefrontal circuitry . Synaptic proliferation and pruning, as well as ongoing myelination, are assumed to be important mechanisms that shape cognitive development . Supporting this assumption, there is evidence for gray matter loss, beginning around puberty, in sensorimotor areas that spreads during late adolescence into higher-order cortical regions, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex . In another study, frontal cortical thinning was related to improved ability to retain and retrieve verbal and spatial information .

Our data suggest that beyond the processes that occur in the prefrontal cortex, cognitive improvement with age may be due to more coherent, or more myelinated, non-cortical white matter circuitry in prefrontal regions.

This typical brain development may be altered in developmental disorders that cause impairments in working memory, attention or inhibition . Interestingly, prefrontal white matter has been implicated in these disorders .

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Increased White Matter Inflammation In Aging

  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Section Medical Physiology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
  • 2Department of Neurology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
  • 3Department of Pathology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 4Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
  • 5Laboratory of Neurochemistry and Behavior, Institute Born-Bunge, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium
  • 6Department of Neurology and Alzheimer Research Center, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
  • 7Biobank, Institute Born-Bunge, Wilrijk, Belgium
  • 8Department of Pathology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
  • 9Neuroimmunology Unit, Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, United Kingdom

Memory Loss Tied To Brain’s White Matter

White Matter Counts: Brain Connections Help Us Do 2 + 2 ...

White matter is made up of the neuronal axons that connect neurons in the “gray matter” brain regions. White matter also helps the regions of the brain to communicate with one another.

“Historically, a lot of people have put their eggs in the gray matter basket. This study suggests that what might really be important are the connections and the integrity of the connections,” lead author David Ziegler, a graduate student in the MIT department of brain and cognitive sciences, said in a news release issued by the university.

The finding means that medication, diet or exercise that enhances the white matter might provide a new way to fight the typical mental declines experienced with old age, he said.

The study was published in the December online edition of Neurobiology of Aging.

More information

The Alzheimer’s Association has more about brain health.

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Increased Microglial Immunoreactivity In The White Matter Of Early

To investigate the effect of AD pathology on microglial immunoreactivity in white matter in relation to age, we compared the immunostaining between EOAD, LOAD, and age-matched controls . Patients with inflammatory diseases prior to death were excluded. We investigated microglial activity in the white matter of FC and entorhinal cortex. Interestingly, white matter microglia in both regions of EOAD tissues showed significantly increased expression of IBA1, HLA-DR, and CD68, compared to age-matched controls . To check the effect of aging on microglia activity, we studied the white matter of old controls, which showed upregulated expression of IBA1, HLA-DR, and CD68, compared to young controls . To investigate the combined effect of aging and AD pathology on white matter pathology, we further compared the expression of IBA1, HLA-DR, and CD68 between LOAD and old controls. Interestingly, there was no significant difference between these two groups . In summary, aging and AD-related pathology may increase microglia activity separately, but the combined effect is not additive. Aging- and AD-related microglial activation are morphologically similar.

What Are White Spots

Spots on a brain MRI are caused by changes in water content and fluid movement that occur in brain tissue when the brain cells are inflamed or damaged. These lesions are more easily seen on T2 weighted images, a term that describes the frequency of the radio impulses used during your scan.

White spots may be described in different ways on an MRI report:

  • “High signal intensity areas”
  • “White matter hyperintensities,” or lesions the appear bright white on certain sequences of MRI scans
  • “Leukoaraiosis,” a term that is used if the spots are thought to be caused by decreased blood flow
  • “Nonspecific white matter changes”

White spots are usually found in the brains white matter, typically near the ventricles, the four cavities located within the brain that contain cerebrospinal fluid . But they can be located anywhere in the brain.

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Wanted: A Behavioral Neurology Of White Matter

The study of higher functions in humans requires consideration of all the brains neural tissues. Long neglected as a contributor to the organization of cognitive and emotional operations, white matter is the object of intense, intriguing, and increasingly fruitful efforts to improve our understanding. Studying people with white matter disorders to correlate their brain lesions with specic behavior changes promises a wealth of insights. Increasingly, this method will be complemented by sophisticated neuroimaging techniques that yield detailed visualization of white matter tracts as they participate in the cognitive and emotional operations of distributed neural networks.

In practical terms, an appreciation of the brain-behavioral importance of white matter disorders can greatly benet patients, especially as early recognition and treatment often determine an outcome. In theoretical terms, further study of white matter and its disorders expands our knowledge of the brain as an extraordinarily complex structure in which the connectivity provided by white matter is central to cognition, emotion, and consciousness itself.

What Do Mri Findings Of White Matter Lesions Indicate

Heads UP – Episode 77: White Matter Lesions and Migraine Disease

White matter hyperintensities are lesions in the brain that show up as areas of increased brightness when visualised by T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging . WMHs are also referred to as Leukoaraiosis and are often found in CT or MRIs of older patients. The prevailing view is that these intensities are a marker of small-vessel vascular disease and in clinical practice, are indicative of cognitive and emotional dysfunction , particularly in the ageing population.

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Periventricular Leukomalacia Also Known As Pvl

is distinguished by a more or less extensive necrosis of the white matter surrounding the cerebral ventricles. Its cystic variant, rarer today than it was years ago, was described for the first time by Banker and Laroche in 1962 and represents the most significant form of white matter damage. It can result in neurological conditions, such as infantile cerebral palsy, and more precisely, spastic diplegia marked by predominant damage to the lower extremities of the body. This disorder was once referred to as Littles Disease, named after its discoverer .

White Matter Anisotropy Changes With Age In The Corpus Callosum

The corpus callosum, the largest white matter tract in the brain, functions to connect left and right cerebral hemispheres. Callosal fibers are important for motor and sensory integration, attention, memory, and general cognitive functioning .

In our study, we found overlapping changes in FA and white matter density with age in the body of the corpus callosum, which contains fibers important for connecting motor, sensory and auditory cortices . The observed increases in FA values and white matter density may be related to the improved motor skills during development.

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What Is Its Function

For a long time it was believed that the white matter had secondary functions to the gray matter, but recent studies have demonstrated that it is not like that at all. The main job of the white matter is to convey information, under the form of electrical impulses, from one part of the brain to the other. It therefore connects different parts of the brain and cerebellum and it is at the foundation of the relevant notion of connectivity. This occurs both in close areas that carry out the same function, and in areas far apart that must constantly communicate in order to carry out more complex tasks, such as, for example, recognizing the scent of a rose and calling it by the proper name. Right hemisphere and left hemisphere, basal ganglia and cerebellum, cerebral cortex and spinal marrow are all interconnected thanks to the white matter.

Immunohistochemical images of the white matter at 30 and 40 weeks of gestational age. The asterisk indicates the lateral ventricle. Modified by Back et al. J Neuroscience 2001.

Gray Matter Vs White Matter

White Matter Lesion Mapping Tool Identifies Early Signs ...

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The brain is an immensely complex structure, but there are ways we can divide up its anatomical structure into more discrete parts the left and right hemisphere, parietal, temporal, occipital and frontal lobes. Another common divider is to separate the brains gray and white matter. But what are these two structures? How different are they from each other? How significant, and physiologically relevant, is this divide? Read on to find out!

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Ui Registry Is A Unique Resource For Neuroscientists

Importantly, the new findings were based on data from over 500 individual patients, which is a large number compared to previous studies and suggests the findings are robust. The data came from two registries one from Washington University in St. Louis, which provided data from 102 patients, and the Iowa Neurological Registry based at the UI, which provided data from 402 patients. The Iowa registry is over 40 years old and is one of the best characterized patient registries in the world, with close to 1000 subjects with well characterized cognition derived from hours of paper and pencil neuropsychological tests, and detailed brain imaging to map brain lesions. The registry is directed by Daniel Tranel, PhD, UI professor of neurology, and one of the study authors.

Reber notes that the study also illustrates the value of working with clinical patients as well as healthy individuals in terms of understanding relationships between brain structure and function.

I cannot stress enough how grateful we are that these patients have volunteered their time to help us without them, a lot of important research would be impossible, he adds.

In addition to Reber, Boes, and Tranel, the research team included UI researchers Kai Hwang, PhD, Mark Bowren, and Joel Bruss, as well as Pratik Mukherjee, MD, PhD, at the University of California, San Francisco.

University of IowaRoy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine451 Newton Road

What Does White Matter Say About The Aging Brain

  • 3 minute read

The brain is a fascinating organ, and its complexity is gradually being revealed by scientists. Since longevity is a popular topic in modern society due to increasing life spans, aging of the brain is being carefully investigated by scientists.

The agingbrain undergoes a vast amount of changes that influence everyday life and increaserisk factors for many neurodegenerative diseases.

One of thebrain tissues which draws a lot of attention in the medical community is whitematter. The brain is essentially like a telephone network. Different functionalregions are connected to one another by nerve fibers, allowing communicationbetween them. Electrical signals pass through these fibers like telephonecables and the fibers are surrounded by a white fatty tissue called myelin thatfacilitates faster conduction.

Duringaging, there are different pathological changes in these wires, in the axonsthemselves and in the myelin surrounding them. These changes are even moresevere in diseases and disorders such as Alzheimers.

But how can we visualize these changes?

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Late Infantile Metachromatic Leukodystrophy

This condition occurs between 12 and 18 months of age and causes deterioration in thinking skills, speech, and coordination.

Within 2 years, children can develop gait and posture problems, as well as blindness and paralysis. It is not possible to stop disease progression, and it is typically fatal within 6 months to 4 years of symptom onset.

People with the juvenile form of metachromatic leukodystrophy, which develops between the age of 4 and adolescence, may live for many years after diagnosis.

What Problems Do We Encounter When The White Matter Is Damaged

Severity of White Matter Hyperintensities & All-Cause Mortality

Damage to the white matter is similar to having a computer without a working network: until the network is restored it will not be able to leverage its full potential. Luckily, especially in small children, the brain has a great capacity to recover and thanks to cerebral plasticity it can often restore the connections in an alternative manner.

Let us now look at the main pathologies that can involve the white matter of the newborn, especially if born before term:

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Increased Microglial Activity In The White Matter Tracts Of The Aged Mouse Brain

To investigate the effect of aging on the microglia phenotype, age-related changes in microglia morphology were visualized by staining with IBA1. During aging, IBA1 immunoreactivity particularly increased particularly in white matter regions, such as corpus callosum . Morphological changes were also visible in gray matter regions of the brain at 27 months . Microglia cell clusters and changes in microglia morphology were clearly observed at 24 months, particularly in white matter areas like corpus callosum, anterior commissure, dorsal fornix, and cerebellar white matter, compared to 4-month-old mice . In addition to white matter-enriched regions, the cortex, hippocampus , hypothalamus, and spinal cord gray matter regions also showed changes in microglia morphology in aged mouse brain. Microglia cell clusters and the presence of beaded structures in processes of IBA1-positive microglia were exclusively found in the aged mouse brain.

White Matter Across The Brains Life Span

White matter develops and changes across our life span in a pattern strikingly different from gray matter. We do not complete the formation of brain myelin until many years after birth, perhaps past 20 years of age by contrast, we have our full complement of brain neurons at birth. In later life, however, a slow but steady loss of white matter occurs that may be greater than the loss of neurons . So it appears that there is less white than gray matter at both ends of the human life span.

Provocative clinical implications of this pattern are emerging. In children and adolescents, for example, the maturation of white matter, particularly in the frontal lobes, may correlate with the acquisition of mature aspects of personality such as motivation, demeanor or bearing, and executive function. These attributes, long associated with the frontal lobes, are among the last to develop, sometimes not fully maturing until our early twenties. This development may parallel the timing of full completion of the myelination of white matter tracts that connect the frontal lobes to other brain regions.3

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Incident Dementia And Cognitive Decline

White matter hyperintensities were associated with an increased risk of dementia in the general population, but not in studies on high risk populations . When subtypes of dementia were assessed, the three studies that investigated the relation of white matter hyperintensities with incident vascular dementia found a significant association, both in the general population and in patients with mild cognitive impairment.313341 Conversely, although the meta-analysis testing the relation of white matter hyperintensities with incident Alzheimers disease yielded an overall significant association, this association was driven by the large population based study,31 whereas the two smaller studies on patients with mild cognitive impairment did not identify any association.4149 Finally, our systematic review suggests that, in most studies looking at the association of white matter hyperintensities with decline in cognitive performance, white matter hyperintensities were associated with a faster decline in global cognitive performance as well as in executive function and processing speed. This was true both in the general population and in high risk patients with mild cognitive impairment, memory problem, or cerebrovascular disease.

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