Tract-based spatial statistics of diffusion tensor imaging in adults with dyslexia

T Richards, J Stevenson, J Crouch, L C Johnson, K Maravilla, P Stock, R Abbott, V Berninger
AJNR. American Journal of Neuroradiology 2008, 29 (6): 1134-9

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Diffusion tensor imaging is a tool that can be used to study white matter microstructure in dyslexia. We tested the hypothesis that dyslexics have a white matter structural change (as measured by directional diffusion of water, which can be affected by disruption in white matter tracts) between brain regions that previous functional connectivity studies showed were associated with phonologic processing.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scans were acquired from 7 healthy adult normal readers and from 14 adults with dyslexia on a 1.5T scanner. Voxelwise statistical analysis of the fractional anisotropy data were carried out by using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics to compare dyslexic subjects versus control subjects in white matter tracts.

RESULTS: Significant group difference map clusters (comparing adults with and without dyslexia) occurred in specific bilateral white matter tracts within the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, occipital lobe, and parietal lobe.

CONCLUSION: The DTI fractional anisotropy results in the bilateral white matter showing higher fractional anisotropy in adult control subjects compared with adults with dyslexia (relating to white matter fiber tract integrity) are consistent with our previous functional connectivity results from seed points in the bilateral inferior frontal gyrus.

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