Dr. Stuart Hoffman: Better Imaging for Brain Injury with Diffusion Tensor Imaging

Diffusion Tensor Imaging shows the pathway water molecules follow in the brain. DTI can help experts better visualize the areas of injury in the brain.

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[Dr. Stuart Hoffman] One of the major pushes in imaging has been Diffusion Tensor Imaging, which basically images the pathway that the water molecules are following in the brain. So in the white matter, water is flowing generally in one direction. And in the grey matter, it's diffusing in all directions. So by manipulating the water molecules with magnetism, you can then see the image of how the water is flowing in the brain. Right now the standard imaging is CT—it's Computer-Aided Tomography, x-rays, which does not visualize the milder forms of TBI. What the VA is looking at is using newer imaging techniques, such as MR, and using it in such a way that you can visualize these areas of injury in the brain.
Posted on BrainLine April 13, 2012.

Produced by Brian King, Vicky Youcha, and Michael Yoswa, BrainLine.