Revolutionizing TBI Through Connectograms

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

You’re probably wondering why traumatic brain injury (TBI) so common. TBI results when people experience a sudden jolt to the head causing brain damage. When someone gets violently hit in the head, objects can pierce the skin and enter brain tissue, resulting in lesions (abnormal tissue in the brain causing cell death).

Brain Lesions
Cerebral Edema

What’re the Biomarkers for TBI?

Due to the complexity of TBI, biomarker discovery in preclinical models have a lot of limitations. That’s because no animal model can recapitulate the full complexity of TBI. However, models all have distinct characteristics that can aid researchers in the discovery of biomarkers associated with different aspects of TBI.

Imaging and Diagnosing TBI

Confirming a diagnosis for TBI is complicated. Doctors have to assess the history of the injury, the patients symptoms, the physical examination and additional tests including neuroradiology.

CT Brain Scan

Diffusion Tensor Imaging for TBI

This can all be done through diffusion tensor imaging. DTI is a variation of standard MRI which creates images of internal organs through magnetic images. The use of specific DTI sequences along with software that generates from resulting data uses the diffusion water molecules to generate contrast in MR images.

Diffusion Tensor Imaging of White Matter

Combining Connectograms and DTI

Now how can we combine DTI with connectomics? It’s all through connectograms. Connectograms are essentially graphical representations of connectomics through mapping and interpreting all of the white matter fiber connections in the human brain.

Connectogram

The Future of TBI Biomarkers

Rapidly visualizing structural white matter connectivity may allow clinicians to compare changes in the cortical regions and connectivity with metrics of patient case evolution. The approach can also be applied to individual patients as well as be used to visualize brain morphometric connections on various populations of people.

Key Takeaways

  • Biomarkers are indicators of the severity of different types of diseases, infections, and environmental exposures
  • TBI results when people experience a sudden jolt to the head causing brain damage
  • Currently, there are no approved TBI biomarkers for clinical treatment or diagnostic purposes
  • CT scans are most commonly used to diagnose acute problems that are life threatening and require emergent treatment such as surgery
  • DTI is a variation of standard MRI which creates images of internal organs through magnetic images — molecular diffusion can show the interactions in macromolecules, fibres, and membranes
  • Connectograms use graph theory to represent white matter connections and cortical characteristics for single structures, single subjects, and populations

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