2014 Project Week:TBIatrophy

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Key Investigators

Andrei Irimia, PhD (Institute for Neuroimaging and Informatics, University of Southern California)

SY Matthew Goh, BS (Institute for Neuroimaging and Informatics, University of Southern California)

Carinna M. Torgerson, BS (Institute for Neuroimaging and Informatics, University of Southern California)

John D. Van Horn, PhD (Institute for Neuroimaging and Informatics, University of Southern California)

Project Description

Objective

  • To quantitatively assess and map gray matter (GM) atrophy in a group of TBI subjects across the first 6 months post-injury.
  • To use Slicer software in order to identify atrophy patterns in healthy-appearing regions of the cortex in TBI patients
  • To explore the relationship between the locations of atrophy and the underlying neuropsychological deficits of the patients

Approach, Plan

  • the study will be implemented in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and with approval from the UCLA and USC Institutional Review Boards
  • multimodal neuroimaging data acquired from patients admitted to the Neurointensive Care Unit of the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center will be used
  • a Siemens Magnetom Trio Tim scanner with a magnetic field strength of 3 T was used to acquire T1- and T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) volumes both acutely and chronically (at several days as well as ~6 months post-injury, respectively)
  • after affine co-registration of all acquired MRI volumes within each subject, segmentation and cortical thickness calculations will be performed using freely-available methodologies available in 3D Slicer
  • user supervision and manual correction will be implemented by three experienced users with training in neuroanatomy.

Progress

  • we identified atrophy patterns in regions which are involved in memory formation and retrieval (lateral and medial temporal lobe), speech (ventromedial temporal lobe), personality and temperament (prefrontal cortex), and cognitive control (anterior limbic areas), all of which are often severely impacted by TBI.
  • these findings demonstrate the usefulness of 3D Slicer for the investigation of the relationship between atrophy in the TBI brain and the ensuing neurological and psychological deficits of TBI patients after trauma.