Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the more common diagnostic tools used to assess brain injury. Using conventional diagnostic guidelines in MRI, however, often fails to show evidence of damage related to mild traumatic brain injury.
Mild traumatic brain injury sometimes results in post-concussion syndrome-a set of symptoms such as depression and insomnia-that lingers in the weeks and months after the injury. Using a baseline measurement of the brain at rest (default mode network), researchers recently discovered a difference in the MRIs of people who suffered from post-concussion syndrome and those who did not. The resting state MRI shows that there was less communication between neural areas in the posterior area of the brain, and increased communication in the anterior area of the brain.
These differences in brain communication may correlate with the various symptoms of post-concussion syndrome, and important distinction not only for diagnosis, but also for potential rehabilitation or other treatments.
Zhou Y, Milham MP, Lui YW, et al. Default-mode network disruption in mild traumatic brain injury. Radiology. (December 2012).