Nucleus accumbens projections: Validity and reliability of fiber reconstructions based on high-resolution diffusion-weighted MRI.

Human Brain Mapping
Thilo RuscheJürgen Voges


Clinical effects of deep brain stimulation are largely mediated by the activation of myelinated axons. Hence, increasing attention has been paid in the past on targeting white matter tracts in addition to gray matter. Aims of the present study were: (i) visualization of discrete afferences and efferences of the nucleus accumbens (NAc), supposed to be a major hub of neural networks relating to mental disorders, using probabilistic fiber tractography and a data driven approach, and (ii) validation of the applied methodology for standardized routine clinical applications. MR-data from 11 healthy subjects and 7 measurement sessions each were acquired on a 3T MRI-scanner. For probabilistic fiber tracking the NAc as a seed region and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), amygdala (AMY), hippocampus (HPC), dorsomedial thalamus (dmT) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) as target regions were segmented for each subject and both hemispheres. To quantitatively assess the reliability and stability of the reconstructions, we filtered and clustered the individual fiber-tracts (NAc to target) for each session and subject and performed a point-by-point calculation of the maximum cluster distances for intra-subject ...Continue Reading


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