Traumatic Brain Injury Blog

head

Tagged with “diffuse tensor imaging”

June 29, 2015

New Radiology Study Finds Distinctive Post-Concussion Brain Injury Patterns in Patients with Depression and Anxiety

The Radiology Society of North America has published a new study that identifies particular white matter brain injury patterns in patients with persistent depression and anxiety following mild traumatic brain injury (concussion or mTBI.) Read More

January 5, 2015

The verdict is clear: diffusion tensor imaging demonstrates damage to the brain associated with mild traumatic brain injury

The weight of scientific evidence demonstrates that “diffusion tensor imaging” is an effective tool for demonstrating damage to the white matter of the brain associated with mild traumatic brain injury.

The damage typically associated with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is in the axons, the microscopic fiber tracts in the white matter of the brain too small to be seen by conventional tools such as MRI and CT. In fact an individual with a perfectly normal MRI and CT could even be in a coma due to a brain injury. Treatment providers have been left to infer injury from clinical symptoms. However, even the most commonly used clinical tools, such as neuropsychological assessment, are generally seen as insensitive to the subtle, but sometimes life altering, effects of mTBIs. Read More

December 8, 2014

New Research Identifies Reliable Biomarker of Permanent Brain Damage following Concussion

Findings released on November 25, 2014 in the Journal of Neurotrauma indicate that the presence of a blood protein known as SNTF shortly after a sports-related concussion can predict the severity of post-concussion symptoms in professional athletes.

The authors of the study – Robert Simon, PhD, and Douglas H. Smith, MD, professor of neurosurgery and director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at the University of Pennsylvania – noted upon release of this study of SNTF in concussion patients that

“these observations lend further support to the growing awareness that concussion is not trivial, since it can induce permanent brain damage in some individuals.” Read More

May 27, 2014

Concussion as a Medical Diagnosis

Different symptom patterns of concussion depend on the precise nature of the damage to the brain

TBI-brain-image-150wMedical research is increasingly identifying the various ways a concussion can impact the brain and is providing explanations for why different symptoms persist in a subset of people diagnosed with concussion, based on the anatomy and physiology of the brain.

Much of this recent research has benefited from new techniques to “image” the brain, including various MRI techniques such as “diffusion tensor imaging” (“DTI”).  In a prior post, I discussed research concerning  the subset of concussed patients who experience persistent ocular (vision) and vestibular (balance) problems. A paper published online on April 15, 2014 in the journal Radiology reported that DTI imaging of patients with these symptoms revealed damage in the parts of the brain know to be associated with vision and balance. Read More

December 4, 2013

New Blood Biomarker Accurately Predicts Long-Term Disability Following Concussion

In a study published November 18, 2013 in Frontiers in Neurology, researchers from Penn and Baylor report that they have identified a blood biomarker – SNTF – that if found on the day of injury predicts with substantial accuracy both cognitive impairment persisting more than 3 months and the existence of abnormal brain imaging finding in the corpus callosum and uncinate fasciculus of the brain (using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Read More

November 25, 2013

American Academy of Neurology: Brain Shows Evidence of Injury Following Concussion after Acute Symptoms have Dissipated

There has been much debate over what happens to the brain following a concussion, much of it recently focused on concussions in sports. One side of the debate maintains that concussions, also referred to as “mild traumatic brain injuries,” involve only a very short term disruption of brain function with no damage to the brain.  As discussed in previous posts, this view has been discounted by a growing body of research  involving advanced imaging technologies as well as post-mortem  pathological studies showing that in a minority of cases concussions can cause lasting damage to the brain as well as persistent symptoms.

On November 20, 2013 the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, a professional organization representing 21,000 neurologists and neuroscientists, published findings that after a “mild” concussion, brain scans using diffuse tensor imaging technology, showed grey matter abnormalities on both sides of the frontal cortex. Read More