Neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging can detect presymptomatic axonal degeneration in the spinal cord of ALS mice

Rodolfo G. Gatto, Sourajit M. Mustafi, Manish Y. Amin, Thomas H. Mareci, Yu Chien Wu, Richard L. Magin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI), a MRI multi-shell diffusion technique, has offered new insights for the study of microstructural changes in neurodegenerative diseases. Mainly, the present study aimed to determine the connection between NODDI-derived parameters and changes in white matter (WM) abnormalities at early stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Spinal cords from ALS mice (G93A-SOD1 mice) were scanned in a Bruker Avance III HD 17.6T magnet. Fluorescent axonal- tagged mice (YFP, G93A-SOD1 mice) were used for quantitative histological analysis. NODDI showed a decrease in intra-cellular volume fraction (-24%) and increases in orientation dispersion index (+35%) and isotropic volume fraction (+33%). In addition, histoathological results demonstrated a reductions in axonal area (-11%) and myelin content (-29%). A histological decrease in WM intra-axonal space (-71%) and an increase in the extra-axonal compartment (+22%) were also detected. Our studies demonstrate that NODDI may be a suitable technique for detecting presymptomatic spinal cord WM microstructural degeneration in ALS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
JournalFunctional Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018



  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Axonal degeneration
  • G93A-SOD1 mice
  • Neurite orientation and density imaging
  • Spinal cord
  • Yellow fluorescent protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology

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