Mar 2, 2012Science and Technology
New brain imaging technique allows doctors to see neural pathway disruptions


A new study has examined the effectiveness of a new imaging technique that will allow doctors to better see the results of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other neurological disorders. The technique, called High Definition Fiber Tracking (HDFT), will clearly show neural connections broken by injury and disorders, which until now was not possible. In seeing which parts of the brain have lost connections, doctors will be able to better understand and treat brain injuries. “There are about 1.7 million cases of TBI in the country each year, and all too often conventional scans show no injury or show improvement over time even though the patient continues to struggle,” David O. Okonkwo, neurosurgeon and co-senior author of the study. “Until now, we have had no objective way of identifying how the injury damaged the patient’s brain tissue, predicting how the patient would fare, or planning rehabilitation to maximize the recovery.”

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