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Brain connectivity disrupted in patients with post-concussive syndrome
Date:7/25/2011

OAK BROOK, Ill. A new study has found that patients with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) exhibit abnormal functional connectivity in the thalamus, a centrally located relay station for transmitting information throughout the brain. The results of the study appear online in the journal Radiology.

"Using resting-state functional MRI, we found increased functional connectivity of thalamocortical networks in patients following MTBI, due to the subtle injury of the thalamus," said study co-author Yulin Ge, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Radiology at NYU Langone Medical Center. "These findings hold promise for better elucidating the underlying cause of a variety of post-traumatic symptoms that are difficult to spot and characterize using conventional imaging methods."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the U.S. 1.5 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries, resulting from sudden trauma to the brain. MTBI, or concussion, accounts for at least 75 percent of all traumatic brain injuries. Following a concussion, some patients experience a brief loss of consciousness. Other symptoms include headache, dizziness, memory loss, attention deficit, depression and anxiety. Some of these conditions may persist for months or even years. Typically in patients with MTBI, there are no structural abnormalities visible on the brain, so researchers have begun using specialized imaging exams to detect abnormalities in how the brain functions.

Comparing levels of activity among different groups of brain cells helps identify which brain networks are communicating with one another. Some brain networks, known as resting state networks (RSNs) and baseline brain activities can be detected when the brain is at rest. These networks include the parts of the brain associated with working memory.

"The RSNs have great potential for studying thalamic dysfunction in several clinical disorders in
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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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