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Title: White matter disconnection in frontal lobe disorders
Author: D'Anna, Lucio
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 8040
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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In the recent years our understanding of the frontal lobe functions has greatly advanced. The advances in the field of the neuropsychology, neuroimaging and neurosciences all contributed to a rapidly changing perspective on the role of the frontal lobes in behaviour and cognition and they also changed clinical approaches to the evaluation of patients with frontal lobe disorders. The structure of the brain can be non-invasively assessed in vivo using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) can be used to reconstruct the human brain white matter and to quantify their microstructural integrity. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the anatomy of the frontal networks underlying cognitive and behavioural functions and includes three studies: an investigation of the association between extra-motor white matter tracts and cognitive and behaviour symptoms in Motor Neuron Disease (MND); a study of the ventral fronto-temporal network and its association with behavioural symptoms in Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA); a study to investigate the association between white matter abnormalities in several long association tracts and deficits in non-verbal and verbal communication in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Overall, the findings of this thesis indicate that both uncinate fasciculus and cingulum are frontal lobe structures particularly vulnerable to disease regardless the nature of the underlying pathology. Damage to these tracts could manifest with abnormalities in several aspects of social behaviour and cognition. These considerations will help to broaden our understanding of the frontal lobe function beyond motor and language functions.
Supervisor: Catani, Marco ; Murphy, Declan G. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available