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Diffusion MRI (or dMRI) came into existence in the mid-1980s. During the last 25 years, diffusion MRI has been extraordinarily successful (with more than 300,000 entries on Google Scholar for diffusion MRI). Its main clinical domain of application has been neurological disorders, especially for the management of patients with acute stroke. It is also rapidly becoming a standard for white matter disorders, as diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) can reveal abnormalities in white matter fiber structure and provide outstanding maps of brain connectivity. The ability to visualize anatomical connections between different parts of the brain, non-invasively and on an individual basis, has emerged as a major breakthrough for neurosciences. The driving force of dMRI is to monitor microscopic, natural displacements of water molecules that occur in brain tissues as part of the physical diffusion process. Water molecules are thus used as a probe that can reveal microscopic details about tissue architecture, either normal or in a diseased state.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.11.006

Type

Journal article

Journal

Neuroimage

Publication Date

06/2012

Volume

61

Pages

324 - 341

Keywords

Animals, Anisotropy, Brain, Brain Diseases, Cell Membrane, Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Diffusion Tensor Imaging, History, 20th Century, History, 21st Century, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Neural Pathways, Water