Dr. Mingxiong Huang, PhDProfessor, Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of California, San Diego

Combat-Related Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Magnetoencephalography Can Detect Abnormal Gamma Band

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Mingxiong Huang, PhDProfessor, Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of California, San Diego

Dr. Huang

Dr. Mingxiong Huang, PhD
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of California, San Diego

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: Combat-related mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a leading cause of sustained impairments in military service members and Veterans. Yet, conventional neuroimaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) are typically insensitive to physiological alterations caused by mild and some moderate TBIs.

With funding from the VA, we have pursued in developing sensitive imaging markers based on magnetoencephalography (MEG) for mTBI. This paper reflects the news MEG findings in this research field. 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? 

Response: The present study showed that individuals with combat-related Mild Traumatic Brain Injury had abnormal high frequency gamma band (30-80 Hz) hyper-activity in resting-state MEG (rs-MEG), probably related to injury in GABA-ergic interneurons. The new finding of rs-MEG hyper-activity in gamma band in mTBI offers a new and exciting tool for directly assessing the dysfunctional GABA-ergic interneurons in mTBI, which may explain many of the clinical symptoms and cognitive deficits. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: A: One key point from the present study is the marked increase of spontaneous gamma activity in combat-related mild Traumatic Brain Injury, due to disinhibition. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: The knowledge we obtained from this study can be used in future studies for developing new Mild Traumatic Brain Injury therapies using transcranial electrical/magnetic stimulation (TES or TMS). Furthermore, the results from the current study suggest that effective sites for TES/TMS treatments are likely to be on the pre-frontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? 

Response: Traditionally, it is assumed that white-matter tracts are primarily vulnerable to diffuse axonal injury, which produces cortical network disconnection. Yet even sophisticated diffusion-based MRI techniques for detecting white-matter abnormalities in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury are not sufficiently sensitive for meaningful clinical applications. Our present study and other recent animal studies challenge this view by showing that gray matter is highly vulnerable to diffuse axonal injury.

No disclosures.



Cereb Cortex. 2019 May 1. pii: bhz087. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhz087. [Epub ahead of print]

Marked Increases in Resting-State MEG Gamma-Band Activity in Combat-Related Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

Huang MX1,2, Huang CW3, Harrington DL1,2, Nichols S4, Robb-Swan A1,2, Angeles-Quinto A1,2, Le L5, Rimmele C5, Drake A6, Song T2, Huang JW7, Clifford R1,8,9, Ji Z2, Cheng CK10, Lerman I1, Yurgil KA1,9,11, Lee RR1,2, Baker DG1,8,9.


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Last Updated on May 13, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD