Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Traumatic Brain Injury: A Brief Overview
Published September 2nd, 2011
From Military Health Matters!:
Researched and written by Karen Estrada, M.S.
There is a great deal of focus on the potential contribution of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to TBI. More studies are being published, which support the conclusion that DTI is particularly sensitive to changes in the microstructure of frontal white matter, and appears to provide a valuable biomarker of the severity of traumatic injury and prognostic indicator of recovery of function.
In a recent DTI review article, the author states (Zappala et al., 2011):
“The most frequent of all neurological illnesses in the Western societies, still has not gained relevance in the “eyes” of most neurologists because its consequences are not commonly defined within traditional “organic” templates and definitions of structure function correlations associated with focal cortical lesions.”
The main basis of the field of neurology is generally more attracted by deficits and syndromes, and remains “physical and objective”. Less visible symptoms from neuroradiological or electrophysiological investigations, that are not easily circumscribed within vascular boundaries, and whose interpretations of behavior (abnormal) is left to “functional” domains are therefore more prone to “psychological” investigation. TBI escapes most of the well known pathophysiological interpretations, rendering it difficult to understand and accept. It isn’t a “focal” injury; it is not “vascular” nor “degenerative” or “inflammatory”.
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