Neuropsychiatric applications of DTI - A review

Kelvin O Lim, J. A. Helpern

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


Psychiatric disorders are common throughout the world and are a leading cause of disability. There is a growing appreciation of the importance of connectivity to brain function. Disruption of this connectivity can result in brain dysfunction manifested in impaired cognitive functioning and the development of clinical symptoms. White matter forms the basis of anatomical connectivity. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a useful tool for examining and quantifying white matter microstructure. Clinical research studies in alcoholism, HIV-1 infection, geriatric depression and schizophrenia using DTI have revealed abnormalities in white matter microstructure. The use of complementary imaging methods may be helpful in further characterizing these abnormalities. Other psychiatric disorders may also have white matter involvement amenable to study with DTI. Advances in acquisition and analysis methods will be necessary to further advance work in this field. The study of animal models and postmortem tissue may be helpful in elucidating the neurobiological underpinnings of abnormalities observed with DTI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-593
Number of pages7
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002


  • Alcoholism
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neuropsychiatric disorders
  • Schizophrenia

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