From the diffusion tensor imaging, diffusion anisotropy measures such as the fractional anisotropy (FA), can be computed. Moreover, the principal direction of the diffusion tensor can be used to infer the white matter connectivity of the brain (i.e. tractography; trying to see which part of the brain is connected to which other part).
Fractional anisotropy (FA) is a scalar value between zero and one that describes the degree of anisotropy of a diffusion process. A value of zero means that diffusion is isotropic, i.e. it is unrestricted (or equally restricted) in all directions. A value of one means that diffusion occurs only along one axis and is fully restricted along all other directions. FA is a measure often used in diffusion imaging where it is thought to reflect fiber density, axonal diameter, and myelination in white matter. The FA is an extension of the concept of eccentricity of conic sections in 3 dimensions, normalized to the unit range.
FA values of the gray matter, especially in the caudate nucleus and putamen, may be important markers of tissue compression. The assessment of FA values of the gray matter will result in a new, less-invasive diagnostic technique to evaluate the degree of brain compression 1).