Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain compensates after traumatic injury, evidence shows

Date:
November 26, 2012
Source:
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Summary:
Researchers 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 suggest that, in some patients, the brain may change to compensate for the damage caused by the 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 November 26 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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. "Brain compensates after traumatic injury, evidence shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121126110433.htm>.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. (2012, November 26). Brain compensates after traumatic injury, evidence shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121126110433.htm
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. "Brain compensates after traumatic injury, evidence shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121126110433.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins