Neurite dispersion: a new marker of multiple sclerosis spinal cord pathology? - Grussu F et al.

In this study a team from UCL (Institute of Neurology and Centre for Medical Image Computing) and from the University of Oxford (Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences) led by Professors Claudia Gandini-Wheeler Kingshott (UCL), Gabriele C. DeLuca (Oxford) and Daniel Alexander (UCL) investigates neurite orientation dispersion, namely the variability of axon and dendrite orientations. The team employs state-of-the-art histological and diffusion MRI techniques to demonstrate that neurite dispersion is altered in multiple sclerosis spinal cord lesions, and that this feature is a potentially relevant biomarker of microstructural pathology. In doing so, the team also highlights the potential clinical relevance of the new marker, since a clinically viable technique known as NODDI provides histological meaningful indices of neurite dispersion. Specifically, NODDI orientation dispersion index (ODI) faithfully replicates its histological counterpart derived from a specific implementation of Structure Tensor Analysis that was optimised for sagittal spinal cord histology.

Open access article available here: