Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Brain connectivity disrupted in patients with post-concussive syndrome

26.07.2011
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 including traumatic brain injury," Dr. Ge said.

Resting-state functional MRI (RS-fMRI) has rapidly emerged as a novel informative tool for investigating brain connectivity between regions that are functionally linked. RS-fMRI provides insight into functional activity and communication between brain regions, which play key roles in cognitive performance.

"The disruption of such functional properties is better characterized by RS-fMRI than by conventional diagnostic tools," Dr. Ge said.

Dr. Ge and colleagues used RS-fMRI to study the brain activity of 24 patients with MTBI and 17 healthy control patients. A normal pattern of thalamic RSNs with relatively symmetric and restrictive connectivity was demonstrated in the healthy control group. In the patients with MTBI, this pattern was disrupted, with significantly increased thalamic RSNs and decreased symmetry. These findings correlated with clinical symptoms and diminished neurocognitive functions in the patients with MTBI.

"The thalamic functional networks have multiple functions, including sensory information process and relay, consciousness, cognition, and sleep and wakefulness regulation," Dr. Ge said. "The disruption of thalamic RSNs may result in a burning or aching sensation, accompanied by mood swings and sleep disorders, and can contribute to certain psychotic, affective, obsessive-compulsive, anxiety and impulse control disorders. These symptoms are commonly seen in MTBI patients with post-concussive syndrome."

Because the causes of post-concussive syndrome are poorly understood, there is currently no treatment. But, according to Dr. Ge, the results of this study have implications for a new therapeutic strategy, based on sound understanding of the underlying mechanisms of thalamocortical disruption and post-concussive syndrome.

"Thalamic Resting-State Functional Networks: Disruption in Patients with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury." Collaborating with Dr. Ge on this paper were Lin Tang, Ph.D., Daniel K. Sodickson, M.D., Ph.D., Laura Miles, Ph.D., Yongxia Zhou, Ph.D., Joseph Reaume, B.S.R.T., and Robert I. Grossman, 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 46,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)

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

Linda Brooks | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rsna.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>