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Monday, June 26, 2017- LOC Symposium: Myelin Water Imaging in Human Brain: Principles, Validation and Applications

White matter makes up 40% of brain tissue. Myelin is a critical structural and functional component of white matter that allows rapid and effective information exchange in the brain. Recent animal work shows that myelin is neuroplastic. Using a rodent model, McKenzie et al. (2014) established the relationship between oligodendrocyte proliferation and learning, showing accelerated oligodendrocyte generation is associated with performance of a complex skill and an absence of motor learning when these cells were genetically blocked. However, much less is known about what changes in myelin are associated with learning or following brain damage in humans. Recently non-invasive imaging techniques have emerged that can characterize myelin in vivo in humans. This symposium will provide suggestions for the implementation of myelin water imaging to index myelin in humans in future work.