Compromised White Matter Microstructural Integrity after Mountain Climbing: Evidence from Diffusion Tensor Imaging
- 医学院－已发表论文 
Zhang, Haiyan, Jianzhong Lin, Yingchun Sun, Yongxia Huang, Huiming Ye, Xiaochuan Wang, Tianhe Yang, Xingtang Jiang, Jiaxing Zhang. Compromised white matter microstructural integrity after mountain climbing: Evidence from diffusion tensor imaging. High Alt. Med. Biol. 13: 118-125.-The aim of the present study was to investigate cerebral microstructural alterations after single short-term mountain climbing. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis of gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volumes and Tract-Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) analysis of WM fractional anisotropy (FA) based on MRI images were carried out on 14 mountaineers before and after mountain climbing (6206 m). In addition, verbal and spatial 'two-back' tasks and serial reaction time task were also tested. No significant changes were detected in total and regional volumes of GM, WM, and cerebral spinal fluid after mountain climbing. Significant decreased FA values were found in the bilateral corticospinal tract, corpus callosum (anterior and posterior body, splenium), reticular formation of dorsal midbrain, left superior longitudinal fasciculus, right posterior cingulum bundles, and left middle cerebellar peduncle. In all the above regions, the radial diffusivity values tended to increase, except in the left superior longitudinal fasciculus the change was statistically significant. There were no significant changes in the two cognitive tests after mountain climbing. These findings indicate that short-term high-altitude exposure leads to disturbances mainly in cerebral WM, showing compromised fiber microstructural integrity, which may clarify the mechanisms underlining some cognitive and motor deficits tested previously.