Researchers recently studied the link between white matter and executive function (EF) following the onset of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI).
Diffusion Tension Imaging (DTI) was used to visualize and compare white matter integrity in a test group of 30 Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans diagnosed with mTBI against a control group of veterans not diagnosed with mTBI. DTI revealed that veterans with mTBI and diminished EF function experienced more severe changes in white brain matter than veterans not experiencing diminished EF. The study also found that veterans with mTBI who had experienced loss of consciousness (LOC) showed poorer EF performance than mTBI veterans not experiencing LOC and non-mTBI veterans.
The results of the study suggest LOC is correlated with reduced EF performance, and that changes in white matter integrity further diminishes EF in veterans experiencing mTBI.
Sorg S F, Delano-Wood L, et al. White Matter Integrity in Veterans With Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Associations With Executive Function and Loss of Consciousness. The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. (May 2013).