How Can Quantitative DTI Help Diagnose a Concussion?
The skull usually does a good job of protecting your brain. When you experience an mTBI (mild traumatic brain injury) the FA in the brain’s white matter may be low. Low FA is an abnormality and indicates an injury to the nerve cells. High FA has been observed in acute and subacute injuries.
What is a Concussion?
Concussion comes from the Latin word concutere meaning “to shake violently.” In essence an mTBI or concussion is when the brain experiences an injury significant enough to cause some of the following problems:
- A stunned or shocked feeling
- Loss of memory
- Amnesia surrounding the particulars of the injury
- Blurred vision
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Nausea or vomiting
- Not feeling “right”
About 70% of concussion patients feel improved or “normal” about 2 weeks after the injury. However, some individuals continue to experience problems that can affect them with their ability to perform daily tasks at home, work or at school. In cases of mild traumatic brain injury or mTBI, routine MRI or CT Scans usually appear normal, but Quantitative DTI allows us to see the microscopic brain injuries that previously were undetectable
Are DTI Tractography and Quantitative DTI the same?
Tractography creates beautiful images of the brain’s white matter pathways and this technology is of critical importance to neurosurgeons when they evaluate for tumor surgery. However tractography is of no value when we look for objective evidence of the microscopic nerve damage resulting from concussion. Concussion diagnosis requires the use of quantitative DTI.
Looking for more information on Quantitative DTI?
The video at the top of this page, a short presentation by Doctors Imagings’ Concussion Program Director, Dr. Edward Soll, provides an explanation of Quantitative DTI and how modern neuroscience has embraced its use in the evaluation of concussion injuries.
Thanks to Quantitative DTI radiologists have been able to locate microscopic areas in the brain where injury has occurred. In previous years, the unseen injuries of concussions remained a mystery to physicians, now they are clear and colorful and will provide insight for doctors to treat brain injuries.
If you have concerns regarding a concussion injury or wish to schedule an appointment for a Quantitative DTI at Doctors Imaging, just call 504-883-8111 or fill out the Request Appointment form.