News | Neuro Imaging | January 03, 2017

High-resolution Brain Scans Could Improve Concussion Detection

Magnetoencephalography used in Canadian study sees alterations in brain area connectivity not found in conventional imaging

magnetoencephalography, MEG, brain scans, concussion detection, Simon Fraser University, SFU study, PLOS Computational Biology

January 3, 2017 — Simon Fraser University researchers have found that high-resolution brain scans, coupled with computational analysis, could play a critical role in helping to detect concussions that conventional scans might miss.

In a study published in PLOS Computational Biology, Vasily Vakorin and Sam Doesburg show how magnetoencephalography (MEG), which maps interactions between regions of the brain, could detect greater levels of neural changes than typical clinical imaging tools such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans.

Qualified clinicians typically use those tools, along with other self-reporting measures such as headache or fatigue, to diagnose concussion. They also note that related conditions such as mild traumatic brain injury, often associated with football player collisions, do not appear on conventional scans.

"Changes in communication between brain areas, as detected by MEG, allowed us to detect concussion from individual scans, in situations where MRI or CT failed," said Vakorin. The researchers are scientists with the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Institute based at SFU, and SFU's ImageTech Lab, a new facility at Surrey Memorial Hospital. Its research-dedicated MEG and MRI scanners make the lab unique in western Canada.

The researchers took MEG scans of 41 men between 20-44 years of age. Half had been diagnosed with concussions within the past three months.

They found that concussions were associated with alterations in the interactions between different brain areas — in other words, there were observable changes in how areas of the brain communicate with one another.

The researchers say MEG offers an unprecedented combination of "excellent temporal and spatial resolution" for reading brain activity to better diagnose concussion where other methods fail.

Relationships between symptom severity and MEG-based classification also show that these methods may provide important measurements of changes in the brain during concussion recovery.

The researchers hope to refine their understanding of specific neural changes associated with concussions to further improve detection, treatment and recovery processes.

The research was funded by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC).

For more information: www.journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol

Related Content

"Residual Echo" of Ancient Humans May Hold Clues to Mental Disorders

MRI data shows (left) areas of the skull preferentially affected by the amount of Neanderthal-derived DNA and (right) areas of the brain’s visual system in which Neanderthal gene variants influenced cortex folding (red) and gray matter volume (yellow). Image courtesy of Michael Gregory, M.D., NIMH Section on Integrative Neuroimaging

News | Neuro Imaging | July 26, 2017
Researchers from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have produced the first direct evidence that parts of...
Technology | Pediatric Imaging | July 21, 2017
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the first magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device specifically...
Researchers Identify Visual System Changes that May Signal Parkinson's Disease
News | Neuro Imaging | July 11, 2017
Changes in the visual systems of newly diagnosed Parkinson’s disease patients may provide important biomarkers for the...
New Study Uses MRI to Probe Psychopathic Brains
News | Neuro Imaging | July 07, 2017
Josh Buckholtz, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Harvard University, is the senior author of a study that...
GE Additive and Stryker Announce Additive Manufacturing Partnership
News | 3-D Printing | July 06, 2017
July 6, 2017 — GE Additive and Stryker have entered a partnership agreement to support Stryker’s growth in...
American Society of Neuroradiology Launches Anne G. Osborn International Outreach Professor Program
News | Neuro Imaging | July 05, 2017
The American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR) recently announced the creation of the Anne G. Osborn ASNR International...
Philips Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance for IntelliSpace Portal 9.0
Technology | Advanced Visualization | June 29, 2017
Philips announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market...
Study Indicates Q-Collar May Help Protect Football Players' Brain Function
News | Neuro Imaging | May 15, 2017
A new study of high school football players adds to mounting evidence that the Q-Collar may help reduce brain injury...
Strain Imaging Improves Cardiac Surveillance of Certain Breast Cancer Patients
News | Cardio-oncology | May 03, 2017
Epsilon Imaging Inc. announced a research study using EchoInsight was presented at the American College of Cardiology (...
Fovia and Predible Health Combine XStream HDVR with Deep Learning to Fight Cancer
News | Advanced Visualization | April 25, 2017
Fovia Inc. and Predible Health announced a new collaboration to combine high-quality imaging performance and accuracy...
Overlay Init