A Suggested New Tool for Diagnosing Post-Concussion Syndrome

Traumatic brain injuries or repeated concussion can lead to prolonged symptoms and impaired quality of life.  Pinpointing the causes and identifying post-concussion syndrome (PCS), a medical condition that commonly develops after head trauma is not the easiest thing to do.

Enter the researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital, who have conducted a systematic review of 10 international studies that indicate diffusion tensor imaging, an MRI-based neuroimaging method that allows for visualization of white matter tracts within the brain.  They have found that this may be an effective diagnostic tool for identifying and predicting the likelihood of an individual developing PCS following a mild traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion.

“Many people are suffering from headaches, ongoing sleep problems, and other health issues that significantly impact their quality of life,” said Dr. Michael Cusimano, a neurosurgeon and scientist at St. Michael’s. He expressed the need to find a way to help doctors diagnose these patients early so that this treatment can be started as soon as possible in order to keep long-term problem from occurring.

Diffusion tensor imaging, or DTI, effectively scans for micro abnormalities that may often go undetected by routine scanning, like MRI or CAT scans.

Read here to see what their studies of DTI found.