Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MRI pinpoints region of brain injury in some concussion patients

15.04.2014

Researchers using information provided by a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique have identified regional white matter damage in the brains of people who experience chronic dizziness and other symptoms after concussion.

The findings suggest that information provided by MRI can speed the onset of effective treatments for concussion patients. The results of this research are published online in the journal Radiology.

Concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), affect between 1.8 and 3.8 million individuals in the United States annually.

One of the most common and debilitating effects of concussion is vestibulopathy, a condition characterized by dizziness, imbalance and visual problems. Vestibulopathy impairs activities of daily living and puts patients at increased risk for a second injury. Up until now, no specific brain regions have been linked to the prognosis of patients with vestibulopathy.

For the study, the researchers retrospectively reviewed imaging data from 30 mTBI patients with vestibular symptoms and 25 with ocular convergence insufficiency, a condition that occurs when the eyes don't turn inward properly when focusing on a nearby object. Controls consisted of 39 mTBI patients without vestibular abnormalities and 17 with normal ocular convergence. The imaging data was acquired using an MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which produces a fractional anisotropy (FA) value that can be used to determine damage to the brain's signal-transmitting white matter.

"FA provides a measure of how intact the white matter is," said Lea Alhilali, M.D., from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "The lower the FA value, the more injured the white matter is."

When Dr. Alhilali and colleagues compared the DTI results, they found that the concussion patients with vestibular symptoms had decreased FA values in brain regions not previously suspected to be involved in post-traumatic vestibulopathy.

"Patients with vestibular symptoms had white matter injury in the cerebellar area, which is known to control balance and movement, and also in the fusiform gyri, a brain area that integrates the visual fields of the left and right eye and is important to spatial orientation," she said.

The findings appear to show a connection between vestibulopathy and regional brain damage, Dr. Alhilali added.

"Vestibulopathy was previously thought to be related to the inner ear structure," she said. "What's unique about our study is that it shows that, in these patients, there is also injury to the brain itself."

The researchers also found that injury to the cerebellar area was associated with a lengthier recovery time.

The findings have the potential to change the clinical management of vestibulopathy in concussion patients, Dr. Alhilali said. For example, DTI results could be used alongside neurocognitive testing to help determine a patient's prognosis and begin appropriate treatments.

"Vestibular therapy is often very effective," Dr. Alhilali said. "Using DTI findings, we can treat patients earlier and get them back to a baseline state much sooner."

The researchers have two goals in the near term, Dr. Alhilali said. First they want to identify brain injuries associated with other post-concussion symptoms, and then they hope to conduct prospective studies to track patients from shortly after their concussions through recovery.

"Concussion is not just one pathology, but many different injuries with different symptoms," Dr. Alhilali said. "Not every case is the same, and we need to treat each patient individually."

###

"Detection of Central White Matter Injury Underlying Vestibulopathy after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury." Collaborating with Dr. Alhilali were Karl Yaeger, M.D., Michael Collins, Ph.D., and Saeed Fakhran, 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.

RSNA is an association of more than 53,000 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.

Linda Brooks | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: MRI Radiological cerebellar injuries injury matter symptoms treatments

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht A 15-minute scan could help diagnose brain damage in newborns
15.11.2018 | Imperial College London

nachricht NIH scientists combine technologies to view the retina in unprecedented detail
14.11.2018 | NIH/National Eye Institute

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>