BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:
Neuropathological examination in Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) reveals neuronal loss in the gray matter (GM) nuclei and degeneration of the white matter (WM) tracts in the spinal cord, brainstem and cerebellum, while the cerebral hemispheres are substantially spared. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) enables an unbiased whole-brain quantitative analysis of the fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) of the brain WM tracts in vivo.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
We assessed with TBSS 14 patients with genetically confirmed FRDA and 14 age- and sex-matched healthy controls who were also examined with voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to assess regional atrophy of the GM and WM.