Ventral and dorsal visual streams in posterior cortical atrophy: A DT MRI study

Raffaella Migliaccio, Federica Agosta, Elisa Scola, Giuseppe Magnani, Stefano F. Cappa, Elisabetta Pagani, Elisa Canu, Giancarlo Comi, Andrea Falini, Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini, Paolo Bartolomeo, Massimo Filippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging tractography, ventral (inferior longitudinal fasciculus) and fronto-occipital (inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus) and dorsal (fronto-parietal superior longitudinal fasciculus) visual pathways were assessed in 7 patients with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA), showing either predominantly ventral or additional dorsal cognitive deficits. Corpus callosum and corticospinal tracts were also studied. Gray and white matter atrophy was assessed using voxel-based morphometry. In all PCA patients, abnormal diffusivity indexes were found in bilateral inferior longitudinal fasciculus and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, with a left-side predominance. Patients also had mild microstructural damage to the corpus callosum. The 2 patients with more dorsal symptoms also showed right fronto-parietal superior longitudinal fasciculus abnormalities. Corticospinal tracts were normal, bilaterally. When studied separately, patients with ventral clinical impairment showed a pattern of atrophy mainly located in the ventral occipitotemporal regions, bilaterally; patients with both ventral and dorsal clinical deficits showed additional atrophy of the bilateral inferior parietal lobe. Magnetic resonance imaging patterns of abnormalities mirror closely the clinical phenotypes and could provide reliable ante mortem markers of tissue damage in PCA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2572-2584
Number of pages13
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Diffusion tensor MRI
  • Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA)
  • Tractography
  • VBM
  • Visual streams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Ageing
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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