Seeing Concussion

Seeing concussion


A development of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) is a powerful technique for studying the structure of tissues in the brain. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field to make water molecules in tissue resonate, as the field is removed the molecules emit radio energy. DTI uses this to track the flow of water through brain tissue. At left is a normal, healthy brain of an adolescent male. At right is the brain of an adolescent male after suffering a concussion in an ice hockey game. The increased green yellow and red colours indicate increased fractional anisotropy, a measure of resistance to the normal diffusion of water, in the fibres of the white matter of the brain. This suggests that concussion changes the microstructure of the white matter, changes that may persist for up to two months following injury.

Image © Dr Michael Borich and Dr Naznin Virji-Babul


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