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Gray Matter Abnormalities Persist After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Even as neurobehavioral symptoms decrease, physiologic abnormalities remain

Gray Matter Abnormalities Persist After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- At four months following mild traumatic brain injury, symptoms are significantly reduced but gray matter abnormalities persist, according to research published online Nov. 20 in Neurology.

In an effort to assess the underlying pathophysiology of mild traumatic brain injury, Josef M. Ling, of The Mind Research Network Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute in Albuquerque, N.M., and colleagues conducted clinical and neuroimaging evaluations of 50 patients and 50 controls matched for sex, age, and education.

The researchers found that, compared with the semi-acute phase at about 14 days post-injury, patients reported significantly fewer cognitive, somatic, and emotional complaints at four months post-injury. But, increased fractional anisotropy, found in the bilateral superior frontal cortex during the semi-acute phase, remained elevated in the left superior frontal cortex. At either time point, no difference was observed in neuropsychological testing or measures of gray matter mean diffusivity or atrophy between the groups.

"These results suggest that there are potentially two different modes of recovery for concussion, with the memory, thinking, and behavioral symptoms improving more quickly than the physiological injuries in the brain," a coauthor said in a statement.

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