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Pittsburgh Team Reports New technology that enables visualization of Traumatic Brain Injury

 

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This new technology is called High Definition Fiber Tracking (HDFT) and provides a potential biomarker for TBI.  It uses MRI to map brain cables or tracts in exquisite detail.   HDFT visualizes the TBI induced breaks, quantifies the lost connections and can predict what brain functionality has been lost.
Just as the development of the X-Ray and CT scans transformed diagnostic abilities in orthopedics, HDFT may do the same for Traumatic Brain Injury.  This technology will allow clinicians to observe and compare the integrity of 40 tracts in the brain.  These tracts, much like the bones, are the support structures for brain functioning.  In the past, damage to these support structures could rarely be detected or seen.  Now, with HDFT, we can see the breaks of traumatic brain injury. 
Go to website HDFT.info to get more information about the technology, news reports and studies.  Click on our YouTube video to learn about a specific case and how the technology was utilized in it (3.5 minutes).

 



The image below shows the brain of a person in an ATV accident and allows you to compare the damaged brain to a normal one.

Visualization of TBI Damage with HDFT

The top row shows HDFT connections of a TBI patient that was in an ATV accident that resulted in loss of left hand function. This shows the axon projection field for the major brain cable or tract controlling motor function and the cortex connecting to the lower brain stem function (called the corona radiata). The red outlined region (upper right) shows where the connections can no-longer be found after the accident. The contrast between the left and right side of the patient provides a biomarker of the loss. The bottom row shows the same cables on a normal control subject. Note the symmetry of projection. Compare the right column (TBI) to the left column (normal).

The research report detailing this clinical case appeared in the Journal of Neurosurgery on March 2, 2012. The news reported by the Associated Press was carried in 400+ outlets worldwide, including: CBS news, Discovery News, USA Today, Huffington Post, Fox News, Marine Corps Times, Army Times, and U.S. Medicine.

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