Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Veterans' brain injury examined

Date:
January 9, 2014
Source:
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Summary:
Roadside bombs and other blasts have made head injury the “signature wound” of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Now, researchers are investigating the effect of repeated combat-related blast exposures on the brains of veterans with the goal of improving diagnostics and treatment.

Roadside bombs and other blasts have made head injury the "signature wound" of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Most combat veterans recover from mild traumatic brain injury, also known as concussion, but a small minority experience significant and long-term side effects.

Related Articles


Now, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, in cooperation with Resurrecting Lives Foundation, are investigating the effect of repeated combat-related blast exposures on the brains of veterans with the goal of improving diagnostics and treatment.

Mild traumatic brain injury can cause problems with cognition, concentration, memory and emotional control as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Einstein scientists are using advanced MRI technology and psychological tests to investigate the structural and biological impact of repeated head injury on the brain and to assess how these injuries affect cognitive function.

"Right now, doctors diagnose concussion purely on the basis of someone's symptoms," said Michael Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., associate director of Einstein's Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center. "We hope that our research will lead to a more scientifically valid diagnostic technique -- one that uses imaging to not only detect the underlying brain injury but reveal its severity. Such a technique could also objectively evaluate therapies aimed at healing the brain injuries responsible for concussions." Dr. Lipton is also associate professor of radiology, of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and of neuroscience at Einstein and medical director of MRI services at Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein.

The Einstein researchers are studying 20 veterans from Ohio and Michigan who were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and have exhibited symptoms of repeated concussion. Twenty of the veterans' siblings or cousins without concussion are acting as controls. The researchers are using an advanced MRI-based imaging technique called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to identify injured brain areas.

DTI "sees" the movement of water molecules within and along axons, the nerve fibers that constitute the brain's white matter. This imaging technique allows researchers to measure the uniformity of water movement (called fractional anisotropy, or FA) throughout the brain. Abnormally low FA within white matter indicates axon damage and has previously been associated with cognitive impairment in patients with traumatic brain injury. (The researchers also use DTI in an ongoing study of amateur soccer players to assess possible brain injury from repeatedly heading soccer balls.)

The final group of veterans is scheduled to visit Einstein for testing in February 2014. Preliminary results should be available later this year.

Resurrecting Lives Foundation recruited the veterans and their family members and facilitates their visits to Einstein. The Foundation is also funding the research itself. The foundation's mission is to assist in the recovery and reintegration of veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

"At Resurrecting Lives Foundation, we honor our fallen heroes by caring for their brothers and sisters who return," said Chrisanne Gordon, M.D., founder and chairwoman of the foundation. "The research Dr. Lipton and his team are conducting will help us fulfill this mission."


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. "Veterans' brain injury examined." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109124941.htm>.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. (2014, January 9). Veterans' brain injury examined. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109124941.htm
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. "Veterans' brain injury examined." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109124941.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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