Brain imaging after mild head injury/concussion can show lesions, study finds

March 12, 2013

Brain imaging soon after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or mild concussion can detect tiny lesions that may eventually provide a target for treating people with mTBI, according to a study released today and that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 16 to 23, 2013.

Studies of once a person has died have shown that different types of lesions are associated with more severe TBI. "Our study suggests that imaging may be used to detect and distinguish between these lesions in a living person with mTBI and this finding has important implications for treatment," said Gunjan Parikh, MD, with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, MD. Parikh is also a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

The study involved 256 people with an average age of 50 who were admitted to the emergency department at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda and Washington Hospital Center in the District of Columbia after mild head injuries. They underwent (MRI) brain scans. Of those, 104 had imaging evidence of hemorrhage in the brain (67 percent reported , and 65 percent reported amnesia, or temporary forgetfulness). People with hemorrhages underwent more detailed brain scans with advanced MRI within an average of 17 hours after the injury.

Advanced imaging showed that—of those 104 people with imaging evidence of hemorrhage—20 percent had microbleed lesions and 33 percent had tube-shaped linear lesions. Microbleeds were distributed throughout the brain whereas linear lesions, which were found mainly in one area, were more likely to be associated with injury to adjacent brain tissue.

The investigators hypothesized that the linear lesions seen on MRI may represent a type of vascular injury that is seen in brain tissue studies of people with more severe TBI. "If that theory is confirmed, it may provide an opportunity to develop treatment strategies for people who have suffered a mild TBI," said Parikh.

Explore further: Imaging shows some brains compensate after traumatic injury

Related Stories

Imaging shows some brains compensate after traumatic injury

November 26, 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, ...

MRIs reveal signs of brain injuries not seen in CT scans, researchers report

December 18, 2012
Hospital MRIs may be better at predicting long-term outcomes for people with mild traumatic brain injuries than CT scans, the standard technique for evaluating such injuries in the emergency room, according to a clinical ...

Recommended for you

Scientists become research subjects in after-hours brain-scanning project

July 27, 2017
A quest to analyze the unique features of individual human brains evolved into the so-called Midnight Scan Club, a group of scientists who had big ideas but almost no funding and little time to research the trillions of neural ...

In witnessing the brain's 'aha!' moment, scientists shed light on biology of consciousness

July 27, 2017
Columbia scientists have identified the brain's 'aha!' moment—that flash in time when you suddenly become aware of information, such as knowing the answer to a difficult question. Today's findings in humans, combined with ...

Scientists block evolution's molecular nerve pruning in rodents

July 27, 2017
Researchers investigating why some people suffer from motor disabilities report they may have dialed back evolution's clock a few ticks by blocking molecular pruning of sophisticated brain-to-limb nerve connections in maturing ...

Social influences can override aggression in male mice, study shows

July 27, 2017
Stanford University School of Medicine investigators have identified a cluster of nerve cells in the male mouse's brain that, when activated, triggers territorial rage in a variety of situations. Activating the same cluster ...

Researchers reveal unusual chemistry of protein with role in neurodegenerative disorders

July 27, 2017
A common feature of neurodegenerative diseases is the formation of permanent tangles of insoluble proteins in cells. The beta-amyloid plaques found in people with Alzheimer's disease and the inclusion bodies in motor neurons ...

Mother's brain reward response to offspring reduced by substance addiction

July 27, 2017
Maternal addiction and its effects on children is a major public health problem, often leading to high rates of child abuse, neglect and foster care placement. In a study published today in the journal Human Brain Mapping, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.