Title

Symptomatic white matter changes in mild traumatic brain injury resemble pathologic features of early Alzheimer dementia

Document Type

Article

Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate white matter integrity in patients with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) who did not have morphologic abnormalities at conventional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with diffusion-tensor imaging to determine any relationship between patterns of white matter injury and severity of postconcussion symptoms. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The institutional review board approved this study, with waiver of informed consent. Diffusion-tensor images from 64 consecutive patients with mild TBI obtained with conventional MR imaging were evaluated retrospectively. Fractional anisotropy (FA) maps were generated as a measure of white matter integrity. All patients underwent a neurocognitive evaluation. Correlations between skeletonized FA values in white matter, total concussion symptom score, and findings of sleep and wake disturbances were analyzed with regression analysis that used tract-based spatial statistics. RESULTS: Total concussion symptom scores varied from 2 to 97 (mean ± standard deviation, 32.7 ± 24.4), with 34 patients demonstrating sleep and wake disturbances. Tract-based spatial statistics showed a significant correlation between high total concussion symptom score and reduced FA at the gray matter-white matter junction (P < .05), most prominently in the auditory cortex (P < .05). FA in the parahippocampal gyri was significantly decreased in patients with sleep and wake disturbances relative to patients without such disturbances (0.26 and 0.37, respectively; P < .05). CONCLUSION: The distribution of white matter abnormalities in patients with symptomatic mild TBI is strikingly similar to the distribution of pathologic abnormalities in patients with early Alzheimer dementia, a finding that may help direct research strategies.

Medical Subject Headings

Adolescent; Adult; Alzheimer Disease (epidemiology, pathology); Brain Concussion (epidemiology, pathology); Child; Comorbidity; Female; Humans; Incidence; Magnetic Resonance Imaging (statistics & numerical data); Male; Nerve Fibers, Myelinated (pathology); Pennsylvania (epidemiology); Reproducibility of Results; Risk Assessment; Sensitivity and Specificity; Young Adult

Publication Date

10-1-2013

Publication Title

Radiology

E-ISSN

1527-1315

Volume

269

Issue

1

First Page

249

Last Page

57

PubMed ID

23781117

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1148/radiol.13122343

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