A unified science of concussion

Jun Maruta, Stephanie W. Lee, Emily F. Jacobs, Jamshid Ghajar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

The etiology, imaging, and behavioral assessment of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) are daunting fields, given the lack of a cohesive neurobiological explanation for the observed cognitive deficits seen following mTBI. Although subjective patient self-report is the leading method of diagnosing mTBI, current scientific evidence suggests that quantitative measures of predictive timing, such as visual tracking, could be a useful adjunct to guide the assessment of attention and to screen for advanced brain imaging. Magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has demonstrated that mTBI is associated with widespread microstructural changes that include those in the frontal white matter tracts. Deficits observed during predictive visual tracking correlate with DTI findings that show lesions localized in neural pathways subserving the cognitive functions often disrupted in mTBI. Unifying the anatomical and behavioral approaches, the emerging evidence supports an explanation for mTBI that the observed cognitive impairments are a result of predictive timing deficits caused by shearing injuries in the frontal white matter tracts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-66
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume1208
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Blast injury
  • Diffuse axonal injury (DAI)
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Smooth pursuit

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