Diverging white matter trajectories in children after traumatic brain injury
The RAPBI study
Emily L. Dennis, PhD,
Faisal Rashid, BA,
Monica U. Ellis, MA,
Talin Babikian, PhD, ABPP,
Published online before print March 15, 2017, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000003808Neurology 10.1212/WNL.0000000000003808
Objective: To examine longitudinal trajectories of white matter organization in pediatric moderate/severe traumatic brain injury (msTBI) over a 12-month period.
Methods: We studied 21 children (16 M/5 F) with msTBI, assessed 2–5 months postinjury and again 13–19 months postinjury, as well as 20 well-matched healthy control children. We assessed corpus callosum function through interhemispheric transfer time (IHTT), measured using event-related potentials, and related this to diffusion-weighted MRI measures of white matter (WM) microstructure. At the first time point, half of the patients with TBI had significantly slower IHTT (TBI-slow-IHTT, n = 11) and half were in the normal range (TBI-normal-IHTT, n = 10).
Results: The TBI-normal-IHTT group did not differ significantly from healthy controls, either in WM organization in the chronic phase or in the longitudinal trajectory of WM organization between the 2 evaluations. In contrast, the WM organization of the TBI-slow-IHTT group was significantly lower than in healthy controls across a large portion of the WM. Longitudinal analyses showed that the TBI-slow-IHTT group experienced a progressive decline between the 2 evaluations in WM organization throughout the brain.
Conclusions: We present preliminary evidence suggesting a potential biomarker that identifies a subset of patients with impaired callosal organization in the first months postinjury who subsequently experience widespread continuing and progressive degeneration in the first year postinjury.
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Brain. 2014 Apr;137(Pt 4):e268. doi: 10.1093/brain/awt252. Epub 2013 Sep 24.
The corpus callosum of Albert Einstein's brain: another clue to his high intelligence?Men WW, Falk D, Sun T, Chen W, Li J, Yin D, Zang L, Fan M.
Albert Einstein's corpus callosum, the bundle of fibers that connects the brain's two hemispheres and facilitates inter-hemispheric communication, was unusually well-connected, according to a new study published in the journal Brain, which suggests that Einstein's high level of cranial connectivity may have contributed to his brilliance.
Florida State University evolutionary anthropologist Dean Falk participated in the study led by Weiwei Men of East China Normal University. Falk said this study, more so than any other to date, "really gets 'inside' Einstein's brain."
After his death in 1955, Einstein's brain was preserved, although the fact remained hidden until 1986.
The researchers used a new technique for measuring brain connectivity developed by Men.
"Men's technique measures and color-codes the varying thicknesses of subdivisions of the corpus callosum along its length, where nerves cross from one side of the brain to the other," said a Florida State University statement. "These thicknesses indicate the number of nerves that cross and therefore how 'connected' the two sides of the brain are in particular regions, which facilitate different functions depending on where the fibers cross along the length.
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