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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2017, Article ID 7323121, 7 pages
Research Article

Study on Lesion Assessment of Cerebello-Thalamo-Cortical Network in Wilson’s Disease with Diffusion Tensor Imaging

1The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui University of Chinese Medicine, Hefei, Anhui 230012, China
2Laboratory of Digital Medical Imaging, Medical Imaging Center, Hefei, Anhui 230012, China
3Medical Information Engineering, Anhui University of Chinese Medicine, Hefei, Anhui 230012, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Hongli Wu; moc.621@2101ilgnohuw

Received 18 February 2017; Accepted 11 May 2017; Published 11 July 2017

Academic Editor: J. Michael Wyss

Copyright © 2017 Anqin Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Wilson’s disease (WD) is a genetic disorder of copper metabolism with pathological copper accumulation in the brain and any other tissues. This article aimed to assess lesions in cerebello-thalamo-cortical network with an advanced technique of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in WD. 35 WD patients and 30 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers were recruited to accept diffusion-weighted images with 15 gradient vectors and conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The DTI parameters, including fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusion (MD), were calculated by diffusion kurtosis estimator software. After registration, patient groups with FA mappings and MD mappings and normal groups were compared with 3dttest and receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, corrected with FDR simulations (, , cluster size = 326). We found that the degree of FA increased in the bilateral head of the caudate nucleus (HCN), lenticular nucleus (LN), ventral thalamus, substantia nigra (SN), red nucleus (RN), right dentate nucleus (DN), and decreased in the mediodorsal thalamus and extensive white matter. The value of MD increased in HCN, LN, SN, RN, and extensive white matter. The technique of DTI provides higher sensitivity and specificity than conventional MRI to detect Wilson’s disease. Besides, lesions in the basal ganglia, thalamus, and cerebellum might disconnect the basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical circuits or dentato-rubro-thalamic (DRT) track and disrupt cerebello-thalamo-cortical network finally, which may cause clinical extrapyramidal symptoms.