Artikkeliväitöskirja (G5)

New neurophysiological and imaging methods for detection of microstructural changes in mild traumatic brain injury

Julkaisun tekijätTallus Jussi

KustantajaUniversity of Turku







Mild traumatic brain injury is a very common health problem. Although outcome is generally good, a significant proportion of patients have persistent symptoms or an incomplete functional recovery. The mechanisms of this are incompletely understood, but believed to include microstructural injuries that may be undetectable by presently used diagnostic tests. This thesis aims at exploring new diagnostic methods that could be utilised in examining mild traumatic brain injury.

I study tested transcranial magnetic stimulation defined motor thresholds in a sample of chronic phase mild traumatic brain injury patients. Elevated motor thresholds were found compared to healthy controls, associated with altered excitability of the corticospinal tract.

II study used transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with electroencephalography to probe responses of frontal brain regions. The employed method is reported to be sensitive to changes in excitability and connectivity of the brain. Differences were found between samples of fully recovered and persistently symptomatic patients with mild traumatic brain injury and healthy controls. On basis of this, transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography could be used to detect functional changes that are not paralleled by lesions on routine magnetic resonance imaging.

III study compared diffusion tensor imaging based deterministic tractography and a newer method, based on constrained spherical deconvolution, automatic, deep learning based segmentation and probabilistic tractography. Participants were patients with symptomatic mild traumatic brain injury and healthy controls. The newer approach was able to find differences between the groups, while diffusion tensor method was not. This suggests the new approach may be more sensitive in detecting microstructural changes related to mild traumatic brain injury.

These results show that mild traumatic brain injury can be associated with functional and structural changes in the absence of trauma-related findings on routine MRI. The methods evaluated may provide new ways to detect these changes.

Last updated on 2023-20-09 at 10:45