Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers find evidence that brain compensates after traumatic injury

Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center have found that a special magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique may be able to predict which patients who have experienced concussions will improve.

The results, which were presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), suggest that, in some patients, the brain may change to compensate for the damage caused by the injury.

"This finding could lead to strategies for preventing and repairing the damage that accompanies traumatic brain injury," said Michael Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., who led the study and is associate director of the Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center at Einstein and medical director of MRI services at Montefiore, the University Hospital and academic medical center for Einstein.

Each year, 1.7 million people in the U.S., sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBI), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Concussions and other mild TBIs (or mTBIs) account for at least 75 percent of these 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 in as many as 30 percent of patients.

The Einstein study involved 17 patients brought to the emergency department at Montefiore and Jacobi Medical Centers and diagnosed with mTBI. Within two weeks of their injuries, the patients underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which "sees" the movement of water molecules within and along axons, the nerve fibers that constitute the brain's white matter. DTI allows researchers to measure the uniformity of water movement (called fractional anisotropy or FA) throughout the brain. Areas of low FA indicate axonal injury while areas of abnormally high FA indicate changes in the brain.

"In a traumatic brain injury, it's not one specific area that is affected but multiple areas of the brain which are interconnected by axons," said Dr. Lipton, who is also associate professor of radiology, of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience at Einstein. "Abnormally low FA within white matter has been correlated with cognitive impairment in concussion patients. We believe that high FA is evidence not of axonal injury, but of brain changes that are occurring in response to the trauma."

One year after their brain injury, the patients completed two standard questionnaires to assess their post-concussion symptoms and evaluate their health status and quality of life. "Most TBI studies assess cognitive function, but it is not at all clear if and how well such measures assess real-life functioning," said Dr. Lipton. "Our questionnaires asked about post-concussion symptoms and how those symptoms affected patients' health and quality of life."

Comparing the DTI data to the patient questionnaires, the researchers found that the presence of abnormally high FA predicted fewer post-concussion symptoms and better functioning. The results suggest that the brain may be actively compensating for its injuries in patients who exhibit areas of high FA on DTI.

"These results could lead to better treatment for concussion if we can find ways to enhance the brain's compensatory mechanisms." Dr. Lipton said.

Dr. Lipton's Einstein and Montefiore coauthors are Sara B. Rosenbaum, B.A., Namhee Kim, Ph.D., Ph.D., Craig A. Branch, Ph.D., Richard B. Lipton, M.D., and Molly E. Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University is one of the nation's premier centers for research, medical education and clinical investigation. In 2012, Einstein received over $160 million in awards from the NIH for major research centers at Einstein in diabetes, cancer, liver disease, and AIDS, as well as other areas. Through its affiliation with Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein, and six other hospital systems, the College of Medicine runs one of the largest residency and fellowship training programs in the medical and dental professions in the United States. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @EinsteinMed.

Montefiore Medical Center

As the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore is a premier academic medical center nationally renowned for its clinical excellence, scientific discovery and commitment to its community. Montefiore is consistently recognized among the top hospitals nationally by U.S. News & World Report, and excels at educating tomorrow's healthcare professionals in superior clinical and humanistic care. Linked by advanced technology, Montefiore is a comprehensive and integrated health system that derives its inspiration for excellence from its patients and community. For more information, please visit and and follow us on Twitter @MontefioreNews.

Kim Newman | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

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: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

First-time reconstruction of infectious bat influenza viruses

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Novel method to benchmark and improve the performance of protein measumeasurement techniques

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Amazon rain helps make more rain

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>