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Seiler, S.; Pirpamer, L.; Gesierich, B.; Hofer, E.; Düring, M.; Pinter, D.; Jouvent, E.; Fazekas, F.; Mangin, J.-F.; Chabriat, H.; Ropele, S. and Schmidt, R. (2017): Lower Magnetization Transfer Ratio in the Forceps Minor Is Associated with Poorer Gait Velocity in Older Adults. In: American Journal of Neuroradiology, Vol. 38, No. 3: pp. 500-506

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Gait disturbances in the elderly are disabling and a major public health issue but are poorly understood. In this multimodal MR imaging study, we used 2 voxel-based analysis methods to assess the voxelwise relationship of magnetization transfer ratio and white matter hyperintensity location with gait velocity in older adults. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We assessed 230 community-dwelling participants of the Austrian Stroke Prevention Family Study. Every participant underwent 3T MR imaging, including magnetization transfer imaging. Voxel-based magnetization transfer ratio-symptom mapping correlated the white matter magnetization transfer ratio of each voxel with gait velocity. To assess a possible relationship between white matter hyperintensity location and gait velocity, we applied voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping. RESULTS: We found a significant association between the magnetization transfer ratio within the forceps minor and gait velocity ( = 0.134;95% CI, 0.011-0.258;P = .033), independent of demographics, general physical performance, vascular risk factors, and brain volume. White matter hyperintensities did not significantly change this association. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides new evidence for the importance of magnetization transfer ratio changes in gait disturbances at an older age, particularly in the forceps minor. The histopathologic basis of these findings is yet to be determined.

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