White Matter Trajectories Diverge In Children After Traumatic Brain Injury

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Emily Dennis Postdoctoral Scholar Imaging Genetics Center Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute USC

Emily Dennis

Emily Dennis PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar
Imaging Genetics Center
Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute

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

Response: We know that there is heterogeneity in outcome post-traumatic brain injury (TBI), but we generally think of this as a continuous variable – with most patients falling in the middle and only a few at the extremes in terms of recovery process and outcome.

Our main finding was that interhemispheric transfer time (IHTT – the time it takes for information to move from one hemisphere of the brain to the other) identified 2 subgroups of TBI patients – those with slow IHTT and those with normal IHTT. These two groups show differences in cognitive function and brain structure, with the IHTT slow group showing structural disruptions that become progressively worse while the IHTT normal group seems to be recovering from the injury.

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

Response: There are lots of ways we can subdivide the traumatic brain injury patient population, but it’s difficult to know which demographic or clinical factors might be important, especially when we don’t have huge samples. Finding group differences based on IHTT is just the first step – we need to understand why these two groups are different and if there is anything we can do to help the group with a worse prognosis. This is the overarching goal of the follow-up study we’re going to start soon

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

Response: We haven’t yet identified the underlying biology that’s causing these 2 groups to be so different. If we can identify a biological target explaining this effect, like inflammation, and that target is modifiable, this could inform future clinical studies. We hope that other research groups will consider including IHTT in their protocols so that we will know if this effect replicates.

No disclosures

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Neurology. 2017 Mar 15. pii: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000003808. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000003808. [Epub ahead of print]
Diverging white matter trajectories in children after traumatic brain injury: The RAPBI study.
Dennis EL1, Rashid F2, Ellis MU2, Babikian T2, Vlasova RM2, Villalon-Reina JE2, Jin Y2, Olsen A2, Mink R2, Babbitt C2, Johnson J2, Giza CC2, Thompson PM2, Asarnow RF2.

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Last Updated on April 6, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD