Researchers discover disruptions in neural networks following TBI

Researchers discover disruptions in neural networks following TBI

Georgia residents who have been unfortunate enough to incur a traumatic brain injury are probably aware of the massively disruptive effects of such wounds. A TBI can make it difficult to meet the challenges of everyday life and severely impact the ability to function economically. Researchers into TBIs have built an impressive body of work on the subject, and they have detected extremely specific patterns of trauma with the injury. There is hope that understanding the ways that TBIs harm the patient will lead to ever more effective treatments.

The brain contains multiple interdependent neural networks that allow for the accomplishment of basic daily tasks. Uninterrupted social function requires that these networks be robust and healthy, but a traumatic brain injury appears to have the potential to disrupt them severely.

Some of the neural networks identified are known as the default mode network, the frontoparietal control network and the dorsal attention network. In a healthy functioning brain there are good connections between the default mode and the other two. However, University of Texas researchers found observable disruptions between them in the MRI scans of 40 TBI patients that they studied. The TBI victims examined were not generally recent sufferers of the injury. An average of eight years had elapsed for each of the 40 patients since they were hurt, but the researchers were still able to detect the TBI’s effect on their mental network connections.

Many traumatic brain injuries result from contact sports or combat, but car accidents and slips and falls can also cause them. A TBI victim who has received such an injury due to another party’s negligence may want the help of an attorney in seeking compensation from the at-fault party for medical expenses and other losses.

Source: Medical Xpress, “Brain Connectivity Disruptions May Explain Cognitive Deficits in People With Brain Injury”, March 1, 2016