The first imaging library for traumatic brain injury (TBI) is underway by Cohen Veterans Bioscience and the American College of Radiology (ACR). The library will be used to develop clinical imaging tools that will help diagnose and manage patients with TBI.
According to a press release posted on the Cohen Veterans Bioscience website, mild TBI affects an estimated 1.5 million people in the United States each year. Though mild TBIs cause no outwardly visible signs of brain damage in most cases, these injuries lead to long-term cognitive or behavioral problems or physical symptoms in up to 20 percent of cases.
Many hospitals currently use neuroimaging, which according to the press release have little role in helping to diagnose TBI.
“In fact, patients with this condition often have normal routine brain scans. However, advanced types of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are showing increasing promise in demonstrating changes that are known to occur in mild TBI,” the press release reads. “These advanced imaging approaches include diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), functional connectivity, perfusion weighted imaging, and volumetric imaging. Despite their promise, these advanced approaches are currently primarily confined to research use.”
What’s missing with neuroimaging is a reference, which would help doctors to compare diagnostic differences amongst patients.
Cohen Veterans Bioscience and the American College of Radiology Head Injury Institute will perform standardized advanced neuroimaging scans on 3,000 adult volunteers. The images will then be used to create a library.
“Injuries to the brain can be so subtle and so easily missed, not only because they may not be seen on an MRI, but because clinicians can only rely on patient-reported symptoms. Patients may feel fine yet have a potentially life-altering condition,” Magali Haas, MD, PhD, CEO & President of Cohen Veterans Bioscience is quoted as saying in the release. “With this new reference library we can create a diagnostic standard by which all individuals who suffer from a TBI can be assessed and receive immediate treatment.”