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Body mass index, time of day, and genetics affect perivascular spaces in the white matter

By Giuseppe Barisano, Farshid Sepehrband, Nasim Sheikh-Bahaei, Meng Law, Arthur W. Toga

Posted 20 Jun 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.06.20.162404

The analysis of cerebral perivascular spaces (PVS) using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows to explore in vivo their contributions to neurological disorders. To date the normal amount and distribution of PVS in healthy human brains are not known, thus hampering our ability to define with confidence pathogenic alterations. Furthermore, it is unclear which biological factors can influence the presence and size of PVS on MRI. We performed exploratory data analysis of PVS volume and distribution in a large population of healthy individuals (n = 897, age = 28.8 ± 3.7). Here we describe the global and regional amount of PVS in the white matter, which can be used as a reference for clinicians and researchers investigating PVS and may help the interpretation of the structural changes affecting PVS in pathological states. We found a relatively high inter-subject variability in the PVS amount in this population of healthy adults (range: 1.31-14.49 cm3). We then identified body mass index, time of day, and genetics as new elements significantly affecting PVS in vivo under physiological conditions, offering a valuable foundation to future studies aimed at understanding the physiology of perivascular flow. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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