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Long-Term Brain Damage May Become Easier to Predict


Posted on May 27, 2013

A study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery on April 19, 2013, revealed new information related to predicting long-term brain damage. According to researchers at UC San Francisco School of Medicine, an existing medical imaging technology has a new application to analyze brains in order to predict long-term damage in victims with brain injuries.

For the purpose of this study, brain connectivity was analyzed on seven females and 14 male patients, whose median age was 29. That data from this preliminary study indicated that six patients had no brain injury, eleven had mild brain injury, one had a moderate brain injury, and three had severe traumatic brain injury. 

The brain scans were analyzed through magnetoencephalography (MEG) imaging to indicate if there was reduced brain connectivity. Using this technology, researchers were able to record magnetic fields produced by natural electrical currents in the brain. If they saw pink and purple areas, it indicated that there was a decrease in functional connectivity. This decrease in connectivity indicated to researchers that patients with these findings would possibly suffer from long-term brain damage even after a mild traumatic brain injury. 

Researchers created a template of connectivity information on someone who did not have a brain injury and compared it to people with head injuries to determine the difference in connectivity. 

The author of the study said, “With MEG, we can characterize simple systems in much more fine grain detail. It produces the most detailed activity mapping of the brain.” MEG technology has been around for over four decades, but it has not been widely used for brain injury patients until recently. The study indicates that MEG imaging provides better information on brains than a typical MRI. 

The future use of MEG could be beneficial for a Georgia brain injury victim in predicting or ruling out long-term brain damage.

If someone caused you a traumatic brain injury, or if you have questions about your brain injury case, call us today.

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Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia