Clinical Topics   /   TBI

New Scanning Technology Could Pinpoint TBI Injuries and Aid Recovery

USM By U.S. Medicine
May 11, 2012

By Sandra Basu

WASHINGTON — New technology could allow clinicians to determine precisely what brain functionality has been lost after traumatic brain injury,  according to a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.1

Head injuries can lead to breaks in fiber tracts, cables in the brain that impact function; however, these breaks are not usually viewable through traditional imaging techniques, which makes it difficult for clinicians to know exactly what brain functions have been affected and to predict whether there is long-term damage.

Through clearer images produced by an imaging technique known as high-definition fiber-tracking (HDFT), developed by UPMC, researchers say they have been able to observe and compare the integrity of 40 tracts in the brain, then predict what brain functionality has been lost.


High definition fiber-tracking map of a million brain fibers. Photo courtesy of Walt Schneider Laboratory.

Walter Schneider, PhD, senior scientist at the Learning Research & Development Center and Professor of Psychology, Neurosurgery & Radiology at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, compared  the process to an X-ray  for a bone break.

“Nobody talks about mild, severe or moderate bone damage,” Schneider told U.S. Medicine. “I believe that is exactly what would happen with TBI down the line, because we would say, ‘OK, you have taken a hit, how big a hit and on which cables.’”


Related Articles

High Rate of Pectoralis Tears Among Deployed Servicemembers Lifting Weights

Lifting weights is one way servicemembers keep in peak physical condition during deployment.

DoD Study Finds That Type 2 Diabetes Increases Breast Cancer Mortality

Having Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM-2) increases mortality risk in breast cancer patients, regardless of whether diabetes was diagnosed before or after breast cancer, according to a recent study.


U.S. Medicine Recommends


More From department of defense dod

Department of Defense (DoD)

High Rate of Pectoralis Tears Among Deployed Servicemembers Lifting Weights

Lifting weights is one way servicemembers keep in peak physical condition during deployment.

Department of Defense (DoD)

DoD Study Finds That Type 2 Diabetes Increases Breast Cancer Mortality

Having Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM-2) increases mortality risk in breast cancer patients, regardless of whether diabetes was diagnosed before or after breast cancer, according to a recent study.

Department of Defense (DoD)

Now Hear This: Otolaryngologist Leads Effort to Prevent Auditory Issues

Among those who are exposed to combat, it’s the weapons fire that does it. In the Navy, it’s the noise levels in engine rooms and on the decks of carriers.

Department of Defense (DoD)

GAO: ‘Gaps’ in MHS Physician Specialties Could Affect Wartime Readiness

WASHINGTON — The military services need to develop “targeted and coordinated strategies” to alleviate military physician gaps, a recent report recommended.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Vows to Meet Deadline for Revamp of Veteran Claims Appeal Process

WASHINGTON—VA has told legislators that the agency is on track with a new law that will give veterans more options to have their claims appeals reviewed.

Facebook Comment

Subscribe to U.S. Medicine Print Magazine

U.S. Medicine is mailed free each month to physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and administrators working for Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service.

Subscribe Now

Receive Our Email Newsletter

Stay informed about federal medical news, clinical updates and reports on government topics for the federal healthcare professional.

Sign Up