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Single concussion may cause lasting brain damage
Date:3/11/2013

OAK BROOK, Ill. A single concussion may cause lasting structural damage to the brain, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.

"This is the first study that shows brain areas undergo measureable volume loss after concussion," said Yvonne W. Lui, M.D., Neuroradiology section chief and assistant professor of radiology at NYU Langone School of Medicine. "In some patients, there are structural changes to the brain after a single concussive episode."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the U.S., 1.7 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries, resulting from sudden trauma to the brain. Mild traumatic brain injury (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.

Studies show that 10 to 20 percent of MTBI patients continue to experience neurological and psychological symptoms more than one year following trauma. Brain atrophy has long been known to occur after moderate and severe head trauma, but less is known about the lasting effects of a single concussion.

Dr. Lui and colleagues set out to investigate changes in global and regional brain volume in patients one year after MTBI. Twenty-eight MTBI patients (with 19 followed at one year) with post-traumatic symptoms after injury and 22 matched controls (with 12 followed at one year) were enrolled in the study. The researchers used three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine regional gray matter and white matter volumes and correlated these findings with other clinical and cognitive measurements.

The researchers found that at one year after concussion, there was measurable global and regiona
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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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