Integrated Imaging Approach with MEG and DTI to Detect Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Military and Civilian Patients

Research, Radiology, Rehabilitation, and Psychiatry Services, VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California, USA.
Journal of neurotrauma (Impact Factor: 3.97). 05/2009; 26(8):1213-26. DOI: 10.1089/neu.2008.0672
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of sustained impairment in military and civilian populations. However, mild (and some moderate) TBI can be difficult to diagnose due to lack of obvious external injuries and because the injuries are often not visible on conventional acute MRI or CT. Injured brain tissues in TBI patients generate pathological low-frequency neuronal magnetic signal (delta waves 1-4 Hz) that can be measured and localized by magnetoencephalography (MEG). We hypothesize that abnormal MEG delta waves originate from gray matter neurons that experience de-afferentation due to axonal injury to the underlying white matter fiber tracts, which is manifested on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) as reduced fractional anisotropy. The present study used a neuroimaging approach integrating findings of magnetoencephalography (MEG) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), evaluating their utility in diagnosing mild TBI in 10 subjects in whom conventional CT and MRI showed no visible lesions in 9. The results show: (1) the integrated approach with MEG and DTI is more sensitive than conventional CT and MRI in detecting subtle neuronal injury in mild TBI; (2) MEG slow waves in mild TBI patients originate from cortical gray matter areas that experience de-afferentation due to axonal injuries in the white matter fibers with reduced fractional anisotropy; (3) findings from the integrated imaging approach are consistent with post-concussive symptoms; (4) in some cases, abnormal MEG delta waves were observed in subjects without obvious DTI abnormality, indicating that MEG may be more sensitive than DTI in diagnosing mild TBI.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a leading cause of sustained impairment, distress, and poor quality of life in military personnel, veterans, and civilians. Indirect functional neuroimaging studies using PET or fMRI with fear-related stimuli support a PTSD neurocircuitry model that includes amygdala, hippocampus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). However, it is not clear if this model can fully account for PTSD abnormalities detected directly by electromagnetic-based source imaging techniques in resting-state. The present study examined resting-state magnetoencephalography (MEG) signals in 25 active-duty service members and veterans with PTSD and 30 healthy volunteers. In contrast to the healthy volunteers, individuals with PTSD showed: 1) hyperactivity from amygdala, hippocampus, posterolateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC), and insular cortex in high-frequency (i.e., beta, gamma, and high-gamma) bands; 2) hypoactivity from vmPFC, Frontal Pole (FP), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) in high-frequency bands; 3) extensive hypoactivity from dlPFC, FP, anterior temporal lobes, precuneous cortex, and sensorimotor cortex in alpha and low-frequency bands; and 4) in individuals with PTSD, MEG activity in the left amygdala and posterolateral OFC correlated positively with PTSD symptom scores, whereas MEG activity in vmPFC and precuneous correlated negatively with symptom score. The present study showed that MEG source imaging technique revealed new abnormalities in the resting-state electromagnetic signals from the PTSD neurocircuitry. Particularly, posterolateral OFC and precuneous may play important roles in the PTSD neurocircuitry model.
    08/2014; 5. DOI:10.1016/j.nicl.2014.08.004
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The past decade has seen impressive advances in the types of neuroimaging information that can be acquired in patients with traumatic brain injury. However, despite this increase in information, understanding of the contribution of this information to prognostic accuracy and treatment pathways for patients is limited. Available techniques often allow us to infer the presence of microscopic changes indicative of alterations in physiology and function in brain tissue. However, because histologic confirmation is typically lacking, conclusions reached by using these techniques remain solely inferential in almost all cases. Hence, a need exists for validation of these techniques by using data from large population samples that are obtained in a uniform manner, analyzed according to well-accepted procedures, and correlated with closely monitored clinical outcomes. At present, many of these approaches remain confined to population-based research rather than diagnosis at an individual level, particularly with regard to traumatic brain injury that is mild or moderate in degree. A need and a priority exist for patient-centered tools that will allow advanced neuroimaging tools to be brought into clinical settings. One barrier to developing these tools is a lack of an age-, sex-, and comorbidities-stratified, sequence-specific, reference imaging data base that could provide a clear understanding of normal variations across populations. Such a data base would provide researchers and clinicians with the information necessary to develop computational tools for the patient-based interpretation of advanced neuroimaging studies in the clinical setting. The recent "Joint ASNR-ACR HII-ASFNR TBI Workshop: Bringing Advanced Neuroimaging for Traumatic Brain Injury into the Clinic" on May 23, 2014, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, brought together neuroradiologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, neuroimaging scientists, members of the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke, industry representatives, and other traumatic brain injury stakeholders to attempt to reach consensus on issues related to and develop consensus recommendations in terms of creating both a well-characterized normative data base of comprehensive imaging and ancillary data to serve as a reference for tools that will allow interpretation of advanced neuroimaging tests at an individual level of a patient with traumatic brain injury. The workshop involved discussions concerning the following: 1) designation of the policies and infrastructure needed for a normative data base, 2) principles for characterizing normal control subjects, and 3) standardizing research neuroimaging protocols for traumatic brain injury. The present article summarizes these recommendations and examines practical steps to achieve them. © 2015 American Society of Neuroradiology.
    American Journal of Neuroradiology 02/2015; 36(3). DOI:10.3174/ajnr.A4254 · 3.68 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) offers great promise for elucidating the neuropathology associated with a single or repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). The current review discusses the physiological underpinnings of the blood-oxygen level dependent response and how trauma affects the signal. Methodological challenges associated with fMRI data analyses are considered next, followed by a review of current mTBI findings. The majority of evoked studies have examined working memory and attentional functioning, with results suggesting a complex relationship between cognitive load/attentional demand and neuronal activation. Researchers have more recently investigated how brain trauma affects functional connectivity, and the benefits/drawbacks of evoked and functional connectivity studies are also discussed. The review concludes by discussing the major clinical challenges associated with fMRI studies of brain-injured patients, including patient heterogeneity and variations in scan-time post-injury. We conclude that the fMRI signal represents a complex filter through which researchers can measure the physiological correlates of concussive symptoms, an important goal for the burgeoning field of mTBI research. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 11/2014; 49. DOI:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.11.016 · 10.28 Impact Factor