MRI spots tiny lesions after mild TBI

Brain MRI performed soon after mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) or mild concussion can spot tiny lesions that are associated with more severe TBI, according to research scheduled to be presented at next week's American Academy of Neurology (AAN) annual meeting in San Diego.

The study of 256 people who were admitted to the emergency room after mild head injuries was led by Dr. Gunjan Parikh, of the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the University of Maryland. The MRI scans showed tube-shaped linear lesions in 33% and microbleed lesions in 20% of the 104 patients who had imaging evidence of brain hemorrhage, according to Parikh and colleagues.

While the microbleeds were distributed throughout the brain, the linear lesions were more likely to be associated with injury to adjacent tissue, according to the authors. They hypothesized that the linear lesions seen on MRI may represent a type of vascular injury that is seen in brain tissue studies of people with more severe TBI. If confirmed, the authors believe this may provide an opportunity to develop treatment for people who have suffered a mild TBI.

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