IMR Press / JIN / Volume 19 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.31083/j.jin.2020.03.165
Open Access Systematic Review
Molecular and microstructural biomarkers of neuroplasticity in neurodegenerative disorders through preclinical and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging studies
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1 Department of Bioengineering, The University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois, 60607, USA
*Correspondence: (Rodolfo Gabriel Gatto)
J. Integr. Neurosci. 2020, 19(3), 571–592;
Submitted: 26 May 2020 | Revised: 8 September 2020 | Accepted: 10 September 2020 | Published: 30 September 2020
Copyright: © 2020 Gatto Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Advances in the understanding of genetic and molecular mechanisms and imaging technologies have opened a new window of research possibilities to address dynamic processes associated with neuroplasticity in physiologically intact models of neurodegenerative diseases. This review aims to: (i) establish the most relevant molecular mechanisms, as well as cellular and structural biomarkers in the study of neuroplasticity; (ii) introduce different neurodegenerative diseases in animal models that contribute to our knowledge of neuroplasticity; and (iii) illustrate the capabilities and limitations of current diffusion magnetic resonance imaging techniques to study cortical plasticity, as well as the use of alternative diffusion models.

neurodegenerative diseases
preclinical animal models
bioimaging markers
axonal degeneration
diffusion magnetic resonance imaging
diffusion tensor imaging
anomalous magnetic resonance imaging diffusion
Fig. 1.
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