Navigation Links
RSNA: Concussion Patients Show Alzheimer’s-like Brain Abnormalities
Date:6/17/2013

Oak Brook, IL (PRWEB) June 17, 2013

The distribution of white matter brain abnormalities in some patients after mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) closely resembles that found in early Alzheimer’s dementia, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.

“Findings of MTBI bear a striking resemblance to those seen in early Alzheimer’s dementia,” said the study’s lead author, Saeed Fakhran, M.D., assistant professor of radiology in the Division of Neuroradiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “Additional research may help further elucidate a link between these two disease processes.”

MTBI, or concussion, affects more than 1.7 million people in the United States annually. Despite the name, these injuries are by no means mild, with approximately 15 percent of concussion patients suffering persistent neurological symptoms.

“Sleep-wake disturbances are among the earliest findings of Alzheimer’s patients, and are also seen in a subset of MTBI patients,” Dr. Fakhran said. “Furthermore, after concussion, many patients have difficulty filtering out white noise and concentrating on the important sounds, making it hard for them to understand the world around them. Hearing problems are not only an independent risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease, but the same type of hearing problem seen in MTBI patients has been found to predict which patients with memory problems will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease.”

For the study, Dr. Fakhran and colleagues set out to determine if there was a relationship between white matter injury patterns and severity of post-concussion symptoms in MTBI patients with normal findings on conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams. The researchers studied data from imaging exams performed on 64 MTBI patients and 15 control patients, using an advanced MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging, which identifies microscopic changes in the brain's white matter.

The brain’s white matter is composed of millions of nerve fibers called axons that act like communication cables connecting various regions of the brain. Diffusion tensor imaging produces a measurement, called fractional anisotropy, of the movement of water molecules along axons. In healthy white matter, the direction of water movement is fairly uniform and measures high in fractional anisotropy. When water movement is more random, fractional anisotropy values decrease.

Of the MTBI patients, 42 (65.6 percent) were men, and the mean age was 17. Sports injury was the reason for concussion in two-thirds of the patients. All patients underwent neurocognitive evaluation with Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT). The researchers analyzed correlation between fractional anisotropy values, the ImPACT total symptom score, and findings of sleep-wake disturbances.

Sleep-wake disturbances are among the most disabling post-concussive symptoms, directly decreasing quality of life and productivity and magnifying post-concussion memory and social dysfunction.

The results showed a significant correlation between high ImPACT total symptom score and reduced fractional anisotropy at the gray-white junction, most prominently in the auditory cortex. Significantly decreased fractional anisotropy was found in patients with sleep-wake disturbances in the parahippocampal gyri relative to patients without sleep-wake disturbances.

“When we sleep, the brain organizes our experiences into memories, storing them so that we can later find them,” Dr. Fakhran said. “The parahippocampus is important for this process, and involvement of the parahippocampus may, in part, explain the memory problems that occur in many patients after concussion.”

According to Dr. Fakhran, the results suggest that the true problem facing concussion patients may not be the injury itself, but rather the brain’s response to that injury.

“Traditionally, it has been believed that patients with MTBI have symptoms because of abnormalities secondary to direct injury,” he said. “Simply put, they hit their head, damaged their brain at the point of trauma and thus have symptoms from that direct damage. Our preliminary findings suggest that the initial traumatic event that caused the concussion acts as a trigger for a sequence of degenerative changes in the brain that results in patient symptoms and that may be potentially prevented. Furthermore, these neurodegenerative changes are very similar to those seen in early Alzheimer’s dementia.”

The researchers hope that these findings may lead to improved treatments in the future.

“The first step in developing a treatment for any disease is understanding what causes it,” Dr. Fakhran said. “If we can prove a link, or even a common pathway, between MTBI and Alzheimer’s, this could potentially lead to treatment strategies that would be potentially efficacious in treating both diseases.”

“Symptomatic White Matter Changes in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Resemble Pathologic Features of Early Alzheimer's Dementia.” Collaborating with Dr. Fakhran were Karl Yaeger, M.D., and Lea Alhilali, M.D.

Radiology is edited by Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. (http://radiology.rsna.org/)

RSNA is an association of more than 51,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists promoting excellence in patient care and health care delivery through education, research and technologic innovation. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)

For patient-friendly information on MRI, visit RadiologyInfo.org.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/6/prweb10822858.htm.


'/>"/>
Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2012 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. RSNA: ‘Heading’ a Soccer Ball Could Lead to Brain Injury
2. RSNA: Digital Mammography Cancer Detection Rates May Vary Significantly
3. RSNA: Benefits of CT Outweigh Cancer Risks in Young Adults
4. RSNA: New Study Finds Brain Angioplasty and Stents Safe and Effective for Stroke Patients
5. Concussion patients show Alzheimers-like brain abnormalities
6. New study shows most youth football player concussions occur during games, not practice
7. U of A research leads to enhanced CFL concussion guidelines
8. Study raises concerns that teen athletes continue to play with concussion symptoms
9. Kids Concussion Recovery Varies by Symptom Severity: Study
10. More severe concussion symptoms lead to longer recovery time
11. Study finds newspapers have changed coverage of ice hockey concussions over last quarter-century
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded ... Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear ... a way to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a ... fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, ... type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX ... Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over ... Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Montreal, Canada (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... the pursuit of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high ... low, risk more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association ... it will receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance ... 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 The Academy of Managed ... recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more ... that make formulary and coverage decisions, a move that ... new medicines. The recommendations address restrictions in ... on the drug label, a prohibition that hinders decision ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), ... (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) ... MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for the forecast ... to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that it ... software solution of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates ... to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic ... establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of choice ... clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred EDC ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: