A recent MRI study suggests the presence of “brain scars” in a high percentage of active duty military personnel who experienced a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) on the battlefield.
In the study, which recently appeared online in the journal Radiology, Gerard Riedy, MD, PhD, from the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md, and others on his research team used MRI to study 834 military service members with MTBI related to blast injuries. Slightly more than 84% of the patients reported one or more blast-related incidents, and 63% reported loss of consciousness at the time of injury.
The MRI scans revealed the presence of white matter T2 hyperintensities, which can be thought of as brain scars, in 52% of the MTBI patients, explains a media release from the Radiological Society of North America.
“We were really surprised to see so much damage to the brain in the MTBI patients,”Riedy says in the release. “It’s expected that people with MTBI should have normal MRI results, yet more than 50% had these abnormalities.”
Pituitary abnormalities were identified in almost one-third of MTBI patients, the release continues.
Riedy notes in the release that these findings are just the tip of the iceberg. “We have several more papers coming up that build on these findings and look at brain function, brain wiring, connectivity and perfusion, or brain blood flow,” he says.
Source(s): Radiological Society of North America, EurekAlert]