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Functional neuroimaging of traumatic brain injury: advances and clinical utility

Authors Irimia A, Van Horn J

Received 18 July 2015

Accepted for publication 28 August 2015

Published 15 September 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 2355—2365

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S79174

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Papan Thaipisuttikul

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Andrei Irimia, John Darrell Van Horn

USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Abstract: Functional deficits due to traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have significant and enduring consequences upon patients’ life quality and expectancy. Although functional neuroimaging is essential for understanding TBI pathophysiology, an insufficient amount of effort has been dedicated to the task of translating functional neuroimaging findings into information with clinical utility. The purpose of this review is to summarize the use of functional neuroimaging techniques – especially functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and electroencephalography – for advancing current knowledge of TBI-related brain dysfunction and for improving the rehabilitation of TBI patients. We focus on seven core areas of functional deficits, namely consciousness, motor function, attention, memory, higher cognition, personality, and affect, and, for each of these, we summarize recent findings from neuroimaging studies which have provided substantial insight into brain function changes due to TBI. Recommendations are also provided to aid in setting the direction of future neuroimaging research and for understanding brain function changes after TBI.

Keywords: cognitive decline, personality change, magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging

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