Correlating brain blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) fractal dimension mapping with magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in Alzheimer’s disease

  • Mohammed A. Warsi
  • William Molloy
  • Michael D. NoseworthyEmail author
Research Article



To correlate temporal fractal structure of resting state blood oxygen level dependent (rsBOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with in vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS), in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and healthy age-matched normal controls (NC).

Materials and methods

High temporal resolution (4 Hz) rsBOLD signal and single voxel (left putamen) magnetic resonance spectroscopy data was acquired in 33 AD patients and 13 NC. The rsBOLD data was analyzed using two types of fractal dimension (FD) analysis based on relative dispersion and frequency power spectrum. Comparisons in FD were performed between AD and NC, and FD measures were correlated with 1H-MRS findings.


Temporal fractal analysis of rsBOLD, was able to differentiate AD from NC subjects (P = 0.03). Low FD correlated with markers of AD severity including decreased concentrations of N-acetyl aspartate (R = 0.44, P = 0.015) and increased myoinositol (mI) (R = −0.45, P = 0.012).


Based on these results we suggest fractal analysis of rsBOLD could provide an early marker of AD.


Fractals Magnetic resonance imaging Magnetic resonance spectroscopy 



This work was supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CHIR) FRN79779 (WM) and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology Fund Raymond Moore Scholarship (MAW).


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Copyright information

© ESMRMB 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammed A. Warsi
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • William Molloy
    • 4
    • 9
  • Michael D. Noseworthy
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Biomedical EngineeringMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural NeuroscienceHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.Brain-Body InstituteSt. Joseph’s HealthcareHamiltonCanada
  4. 4.St. Peter’s Centre for Studies in AgingHamiltonCanada
  5. 5.Electrical and Computer EngineeringMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  6. 6.Medical Physics and Applied Radiation SciencesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  7. 7.Imaging Research CentreSt. Joseph’s HealthcareEast HamiltonCanada
  8. 8.Department of RadiologyMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  9. 9.Department of Gerontology and RehabilitationUniversity College CorkCorkIreland

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