Evaluation of white matter microstructure in patients with Parkinson’s disease using microscopic fractional anisotropy

  • Yutaka Ikenouchi
  • Koji KamagataEmail author
  • Christina Andica
  • Taku Hatano
  • Takashi Ogawa
  • Haruka Takeshige-Amano
  • Kouhei Kamiya
  • Akihiko Wada
  • Michimasa Suzuki
  • Shohei Fujita
  • Akifumi Hagiwara
  • Ryusuke Irie
  • Masaaki Hori
  • Genko Oyama
  • Yashushi Shimo
  • Atsushi Umemura
  • Nobutaka Hattori
  • Shigeki Aoki
Diagnostic Neuroradiology



Micro fractional anisotropy (μFA) is more accurate than conventional fractional anisotropy (FA) for assessing microscopic tissue properties and can overcome limitations related to crossing white matter fibres. We compared μFA and FA for evaluating white matter changes in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD).


We compared FA and μFA measures between 25 patients with PD and 25 age- and gender-matched healthy controls using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) analysis. We also examined potential correlations between changes, revealed by conventional FA or μFA, and disease duration or Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS)-III scores.


Compared with healthy controls, patients with PD had significantly reduced μFA values, mainly in the anterior corona radiata (ACR). In the PD group, μFA values (primarily those from the ACR) were significantly negatively correlated with UPDRS-III motor scores. No significant changes or correlations with disease duration or UPDRS-III scores with tissue properties were detected using conventional FA.


μFA can evaluate microstructural changes that occur during white matter degeneration in patients with PD and may overcome a key limitation of FA.


Parkinson’s disease Diffusion tensor imaging Microscopic fractional anisotropy Anterior corona radiata 



We thank Yuki Takenaka and Mana Kuramochi for their research assistance.

Funding information

This work was supported by the Brain/MINDS Beyond program from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) under Grant Number JP19dm0307024; JSPS KAKENHI (JP16K19854); a High Technology Research Center Grant from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan (MEXT); and the MEXT-Supported Program for the Strategic Research Foundation at Private Universities, 2014–2018.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in reports involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants before evaluation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yutaka Ikenouchi
    • 1
  • Koji Kamagata
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christina Andica
    • 1
  • Taku Hatano
    • 2
  • Takashi Ogawa
    • 2
  • Haruka Takeshige-Amano
    • 2
  • Kouhei Kamiya
    • 3
  • Akihiko Wada
    • 1
  • Michimasa Suzuki
    • 1
  • Shohei Fujita
    • 1
  • Akifumi Hagiwara
    • 1
  • Ryusuke Irie
    • 3
  • Masaaki Hori
    • 1
  • Genko Oyama
    • 2
  • Yashushi Shimo
    • 4
  • Atsushi Umemura
    • 5
  • Nobutaka Hattori
    • 2
  • Shigeki Aoki
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyJuntendo University Graduate School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyJuntendo University School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyThe University of Tokyo Graduate School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Department of NeurologyJuntendo University Nerima HospitalTokyoJapan
  5. 5.Department of NeurosurgeryJuntendo University School of MedicineTokyoJapan

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