White matter microstructure across the adult lifespan: A mixed longitudinal and cross-sectional study using advanced diffusion models and brain-age prediction
The macro- and microstructural architecture of human brain white matter undergoes substantial alterations throughout development and ageing. Most of our understanding of the spatial and temporal characteristics of these lifespan adaptations come from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including diffusion MRI (dMRI), which enables visualisation and quantification of brain white matter with unprecedented sensitivity and detail. However, with some notable exceptions, previous studies have relied on cross-sectional designs, limited age ranges, and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) based on conventional single-shell dMRI. In this mixed cross-sectional and longitudinal study (mean interval: 15.2 months) including 702 multi-shell dMRI datasets, we combined complementary dMRI models to investigate age trajectories in healthy individuals aged 18 to 94 years (57.12% women). Using linear mixed effect models and machine learning based brain age prediction, we assessed the age-dependence of diffusion metrics, and compared the age prediction accuracy of six different diffusion models, including diffusion tensor (DTI) and kurtosis imaging (DKI), neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI), restriction spectrum imaging (RSI), spherical mean technique multi-compartment (SMT-mc), and white matter tract integrity (WMTI). The results showed that the age slopes for conventional DTI metrics (fractional anisotropy [FA], mean diffusivity [MD], axial diffusivity [AD], radial diffusivity [RD]) were largely consistent with previous research, and that the highest performing advanced dMRI models showed comparable age prediction accuracy to conventional DTI. Linear mixed effects models and Wilk’s theorem analysis showed that the ‘FA fine’ metric of the RSI model and ‘orientation dispersion’ (OD) metric of the NODDI model showed the highest sensitivity to age. The results indicate that advanced diffusion models (DKI, NODDI, RSI, SMT mc, WMTI) provide sensitive measures of age-related microstructural changes of white matter in the brain that complement and extend the contribution of conventional DTI. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
- Downloaded 541 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 32,686 out of 100,745
- In neuroscience: 5,491 out of 17,945
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 6,496 out of 100,745
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 3,217 out of 100,745
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 20 Oct 2020: Support for sorting preprints using Twitter activity has been removed, at least temporarily, until a new source of social media activity data becomes available.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!