News | December 10, 2012

Imaging Shows Some Brains Compensate after Traumatic Injury

December 10, 2012 — Using a special magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique to image patients with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), researchers have identified a biomarker that may predict which patients will do well over the long term, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

The results of the clinical study showed that in some patients the brain may have changed to compensate for the damage caused by the injury.

"This finding has huge potential implications for preventing and repairing the damage that accompanies traumatic brain injury," said Michael Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., associate director of the Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and medical director of MRI at the Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, N.Y.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States 1.7 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries. 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 in as many as 30 percent of patients.

Lipton and colleagues set out to determine the post-concussion symptoms and health-related quality of life for a group of patients with MTBI one year post-injury. The researchers recruited 17 patients with MTBI from the Emergency Department of Montefiore Medical Center. Within two weeks of their injury, the patients underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which measures the direction of movement of water molecules within and along axons, which comprise the bundles of nerve fibers in the brain's white matter.

"In a traumatic brain injury, it's not one specific area that is affected but multiple areas of the brain connected with axons," Lipton said.

Using DTI, the researchers measured the uniformity of water flow (called fractional anisotropy or FA) throughout the brain, pinpointing areas with low FA, which are indicative of axonal injury, and areas with abnormally high FA, as compared to healthy brains.

"Abnormally low FA within white matter has been associated with cognitive impairment in patients with TBI," Lipton said. "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.

Comparing the DTI data to the patient questionnaires, the researchers found that the presence of abnormally high FA was a predictor of fewer post-concussion symptoms and higher functioning.

The results suggest that in patients who exhibit areas of high FA on DTI, the brain may be actively compensating for its injuries.

"These results offer us a new opportunity for treatment by finding ways to enhance the brain's compensatory mechanisms,". Lipton said.

Coauthors are Sara B. Rosenbaum, B.A., Namhee Kim, Ph.D., Tova M. Gardin, B.A., Richard B. Lipton, M.D., and Molly E. Zimmerman, Ph.D.

For more information: www.rsna.org/press12

Related Content

FDA Clears Siemens Healthineers' GOKnee3D MRI Application
Technology | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 19, 2018
February 19, 2018 — The U.S.
A brain MRI. Gadolinium contrast agents (GBCAs) are partly retained in the brain, raising safety concerns.
Feature | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 16, 2018 | Dave Fornell
One of the biggest concerns in radiology in recent years is the safety of gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) us
Arterys Receives First FDA Clearance for Oncology Imaging Suite With Deep Learning
Technology | Artificial Intelligence | February 15, 2018
February 15, 2018 — Arterys Inc. announced its fifth 510(k) clearance from the U.S.
AHRA and Canon Medical Systems Announce 2017 Putting Patients First Grant Winners
News | Patient Engagement | February 14, 2018
The Association for Medical Imaging Management (AHRA) and Canon Medical Systems recently announced the tenth annual...
Videos | Pediatric Imaging | February 14, 2018
ITN Associate Editor Jeff Zagoudis demonstrates several mobile apps designed to help pediatric patients learn what an
Patients Lack Information About Imaging Exams
News | Patient Engagement | February 14, 2018
Patients and their caregivers desire information about upcoming imaging examinations, but many are not getting it,...
Vantage Galan 3T XGO Edition MRI system was cleared by the FDA.
Technology | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 12, 2018
February 12, 2018 — Physicians now have access to more neuro and cardiac...
PSMA PET-CT Clearly Differentiates Prostate Cancer from Benign Tissue

68Ga-PSMA PET/CT images showing multifocal PCA in peripheral zone with GS of 5 1 5 5 10. (A and C) Axial PET images. (B and D) Fused PET/CT images. SUVmax of lesion in B was 84.3 and that of lesion in D was 5.7. IRS was 3, and 80% of cells were stained. Credit: Senior author V Prasad, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

News | PET-CT | February 05, 2018
February 5, 2018 — Using nuclear medicine...
Indian Man Killed in MRI Accident. MRI magnet safety is key, the magnet is always on.
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | January 30, 2018 | Jeff Zagoudis, Associate Editor
Investigations are underway at a hospital in Mumbai, India, after a man was killed when he was sucked into a magnetic...
Overlay Init