Surgical Planning Laboratory - Brigham & Women's Hospital - Boston, Massachusetts USA - a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School

Surgical Planning Laboratory

The Publication Database hosted by SPL

All Publications | Upload | Advanced Search | Gallery View | Download Statistics | Help | Import | Log in

Advances in Microstructural Diffusion Neuroimaging for Psychiatric Disorders

Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address:
Elsevier Science
Publication Date:
Volume Number:
Neuroimage. 2018 Nov 15;182:259-82.
PubMed ID:
Bipolar disorder, Diffusion MRI, Major depression, Microstructure, Schizophrenia
Appears in Collections:
R01MH108574 /NH/NIH HHS/United States
R01MH085953 /NH/NIH HHS/United States
R01MH074794 /NH/NIH HHS/United States
R01MH102377 /NH/NIH HHS/United States
U01MH081928 /NH/NIH HHS/United States
P41EB015902/NH/NIH HHS/United States
U01MH109977 /NH/NIH HHS/United States
R01MH111448 /NH/NIH HHS/United States
Generated Citation:
Pasternak O., Kelly S., Sydnor V.J., Shenton M.E. Advances in Microstructural Diffusion Neuroimaging for Psychiatric Disorders. Neuroimage. 2018 Nov 15;182:259-82. PMID: 29729390. PMCID: PMC6420686.
Export citation:
Google Scholar: link

Understanding the neuropathological underpinnings of mental disorders such as schizophrenia, major depression, and bipolar disorder is an essential step towards the development of targeted treatments. Diffusion MRI studies utilizing the diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) model have been extremely successful to date in identifying microstructural brain abnormalities in individuals suffering from mental illness, especially in regions of white matter, although identified abnormalities have been biologically non-specific. Building on DTI's success, in recent years more advanced diffusion MRI methods have been developed and applied to the study of psychiatric populations, with the aim of offering increased sensitivity to subtle neurological abnormalities, as well as improved specificity to candidate pathologies such as demyelination and neuroinflammation. These advanced methods, however, usually come at the cost of prolonged imaging sequences or reduced signal to noise, and they are more difficult to evaluate compared with the more simplified approach taken by the now common DTI model. To date, a limited number of advanced diffusion MRI methods have been employed to study schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar disorder populations. In this review we survey these studies, compare findings across diverse methods, discuss the main benefits and limitations of the different methods, and assess the extent to which the application of more advanced diffusion imaging approaches has led to novel and transformative information with regards to our ability to better understand the etiology and pathology of mental disorders.