The evolving role of diffusion magnetic resonance imaging in movement disorders

Christopher W. Hess, Edward Ofori, Umer Akbar, Michael S. Okun, David E. Vaillancourt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Significant advances have allowed diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to evolve into a powerful tool in the field of movement disorders that can be used to study disease states and connectivity between brain regions. Diffusion MRI is a promising potential biomarker for Parkinson's disease and other forms of parkinsonism, and may allow the distinction of different forms of parkinsonism. Techniques such as tractography have contributed to our current thinking regarding the pathophysiology of dystonia and possible mechanisms of penetrance. Diffusion MRI measures could potentially assist in monitoring disease progression in Huntington's disease, and in uncovering the nature of the processes and structures involved the development of essential tremor. The ability to represent structural connectivity in vivo also makes diffusion MRI an ideal adjunctive tool for the surgical treatment of movement disorders. We review recent studies using diffusion MRI in movement disorders research and present the current state of the science as well as future directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number400
JournalCurrent Neurology and Neuroscience Reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Dystonia
  • Essential tremor
  • Huntington's disease
  • Movement disorders
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Parkinsonism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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