Navigation Links
Imaging shows structural changes in mild traumatic brain injury
Date:10/25/2007

Researchers report that diffusion tensor imaging can identify structural changes in the white matter of the brain that correlates to cognitive deficits even in patients with mild traumatic brain injury.

The study is published in the October issue of the journal Brain.

"We studied patients with all severities of traumatic brain injury -- mild to severe -- and found that abnormalities in white matter existed on the spectrum," said Dr. Marilyn Kraus, associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and lead author of the study. "Even in patients with mild TBI -- those identified as having minimal or no loss of consciousness -- there were structural deficits."

Diffusion tensor imaging uses magnetic resonance imaging technology to examine the integrity of white matter that is especially vulnerable to traumatic brain injury. This imaging modality allows researchers to quantify and qualify structural changes in white matter, particularly in chronic TBI patients.

Thirty-seven TBI patients (20 mild and 17 moderate to severe) and 18 healthy volunteers underwent diffusion tensor imaging and neuropsychological testing to evaluate memory, attention, and executive function. All subjects were at least six months post-injury, and the majority were high-functioning people who were employed or in school at the time of evaluation.

The researchers found that structural changes in the white matter correlate to observable cognitive deficits related to thinking, memory and attention. Patients with more severe injuries had greater white matter abnormalities, representing a permanent change in the brain.

"We know that discreet brain areas are important for specific types of functioning, such as thinking, memory, cognition and motor skills," said Kraus. "But what's also very important is that the white matter serves as the connection between these significant areas of the brain."

In some ways, the brain is similar to a computer, said Deborah Little, director of MRI research in the department of neurology and rehabilitation medicine at UIC and co-author of the study. "You have the CPU and the memory, but they are worthless unless they are connected to each other. The white matter of the brain has the same function as the cables of the computer."

When white matter is damaged, areas of the brain may appear healthy but they are actually "unplugged" and cannot function.

"This study validates that getting smacked in the head is not a good thing, despite the fact that some clinicians still believe a patient can recover fully after a concussion," said Little.

A significant percentage of patients in the study had no self-reported cognitive deficits, yet they did have permanent damage that was apparent to researchers.

TBI has been a long-standing public health problem and a significant source of disability, but the recent increase in veterans returning from war and athletes who have experienced multiple concussions has generated greater public attention to TBI.

"Very often in TBI there are forces being applied to the brain that stress the tracts of white matter -- pulling them, yanking them -- and the white matter becomes damaged," Kraus said.

Patients who have a contusion, or bruising of the brain, can also suffer from subtle and diffuse damage to the white matter. The researchers believe that not only the focal lesion but the damage to the white matter is very important.

In the study, the researchers were also able to determine axonal damage (tearing of the axons that allow one neuron to communicate with another) in white matter versus abnormalities in the myelin (the protective sheath that, if damaged, can disrupt signals between the brain and other parts of the body.) If an axon is severed, the damage generally cannot be repaired.

"We found that the milder injuries had less myelin damage, and the more severe injuries had both axonal and myelin damage," said Kraus.

"This research helps us to understand how early on, particularly in milder injuries, there may be some ability for myelin to repair," Little said. "When athletes, for example, are sustaining head injuries over and over -- without being told to sit out -- it may have a huge impact on their recovery. This could affect decisions clinicians make about when someone with a mild injury should return to the battlefield or playing field."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sherri McGinnis Gonzlez
smcginn@uic.edu
312-996-8277
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New Computerized Imaging Systems Help In Better Dental Treatment Planning
2. Micro-camera provides new breast imaging technique
3. New imaging technique for tracking Alzheimers
4. Imaging Modality That Might Help Diagnose Depression
5. Being Obese Increases Ones Risk Of A wrong Diagnosis During Medical Imaging
6. T-waves to sweep over imaging technology
7. Optical Imaging Added To Ultrasound To Improve Imaging Of Breast Cancer
8. Using Eyes As The Line Of Reference For Fetal Brain Imaging
9. Three In One Ultrasound Probe For 3-D Imaging Of Heart And Tissue Destruction Developed
10. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Can Now Be Used For Mind Reading
11. New Cardiac Angiography Technique For Improved Imaging Of Coronary Veins
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... , ... Source Vitál Apothecary, a skin and body care company dedicated to ... had a successful visit to the 2017 ECRM Diet, Vitamin & Sports Nutrition Conference ... the nutritional, sports and health industries a chance to meet in private sessions with ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... Bionic Sports Nutrition LLC, an ... life, announced it had a successful January ECRM Trade Show in Hilton Head, SC. ... States, which allows it to provide its products to all clients at reasonable prices. ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... ATP Science, ... everyday lives, recently attended the January ECRM Trade Show in Hilton Head, SC, ... for its large range of supplements that keep the body functioning at its ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 20, 2017 , ... Michael and ... Dana Farber Cancer Institute. For Betsy, the clinical trial has been life-saving as ... has not worsened. , Betsy Brauser was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009. ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... January 20, ... ... drinks – VW+ 001 and its sugar-free alternative VW+ 002. The drinks have ... the body with optimal conditions to perform during your workout. , After a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 19, 2017 Report Details ... ... Opportunities for Leading Companies – our new study reveals ... discusses issues and events affecting the Alzheimer,s disease therapeutics ... to answer these key questions: - How is the ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017 Many patients don,t realize that they ... a pharmacy just a few blocks away charges only ... problem Medicationdiscountcard.com has created a price comparison ... much their medication will cost at most nearby pharmacies. ... Medicationdiscountcard.com takes all of the ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , January 19, 2017 Incretin Mimetics/GLP-1 Agonists, ... Others The global anti-obesity drugs market is ... half of the forecast period and CAGR of 38.7% in the ... grow at a CAGR of 32.8% from 2016 to 2027. The ... 2021, and $24,063 million in 2027. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: