White Matter Disorders

Brianne M. Bettcher*, Carolyn Bevan, Michael D. Geschwind

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The rich history of neuroscience research has yielded an extensive literature on white matter clinical syndromes, ranging from vascular and demyelinating diseases to autosomally inherited white matter disorders. Although interest in white matter structure and abnormalities has spanned several hundred years, significant attention to white matter-mediated neuropsychiatric syndromes did not gain a firm foothold until the mid-20th century. Gross dissection methods were augmented by more fine-grained pathological evaluations of white matter tracts, and behavioral phenotyping moved beyond focal cortical syndromes to reveal striking phenotypes associated with white matter disease. Further characterization of both white matter anatomy and clinical phenomenology has flourished with the advent of sophisticated neuroimaging methodologies, offering an in vivo window into patients' cognitive and behavioral symptoms. Thus, although shorter in record than gray matter research, investigations of white matter disorders have expanded our understanding of structural and functional anatomy while also highlighting the central role of white matter in cognitive and emotional functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGenomics, Circuits, and Pathways in Clinical Neuropsychiatry
PublisherElsevier Inc
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780128001059
StatePublished - Jun 21 2016


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  • Vascular cognitive impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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