Imaging the invisible: imaging of lingering brain dysfunction after paediatric concussion

Last modified by Logan Green on 2021/01/05 01:03

Concussion (sometimes called a mild traumatic brain injury, mTBI) is an increasing concern amongst health professionals who view it as a “silent epidemic”. Recovery is often spontaneous in most cases without further intervention, but in a significant minority, persistent post-concussive symptoms (PPCS) can linger longer than 3 months. This is worrisome as it can interfere with intellectual, emotional, and social development –up to 30% of children report chronic symptoms lasting longer than a year, and these are especially difficult to treat. Unfortunately, traditional brain imaging does not reveal the extent of injury, and once discharged, there is often little follow up of patients.

Recently SickKids has shown that in adults with just a single concussion, there is no identifiable brain injury on MRI, but the electrical activity of the brain – that which underlies all our thoughts, feelings, and memories – is disrupted and altered compared to typically-functioning brains. This brain dysregulation is supported by self-reported changes in cognition and behaviour, as well as feelings of depression and anxiety.

We have now completed a similar study in children and adolescents, where we measured ‘invisible’ brain activity in those who have had a concussion – on average, children were scanned approximately a year later after injury, and most reported persistent symptoms. Using these advanced technologies, we observed changes in the patterns of brain activity and revealed how areas of the brain fail to communicate typically. New and exciting advances in AI show that this brain dysfunction can be automatically detected, which paves the way for increased understanding of the disruption caused by a “mild” brain injury. These developments will help clinicians prognosticate and identify early on who will need precision and individualised treatment, a key future goal of medicine.

Learning objectives:
By the end of this webinar you will understand:
1. The consequence and long-term outcome of concussion, and how traditional imaging does not meet the needs of the clinical problem;
2. How new innovations in imaging technology are starting to uncover the “invisible”impact of “mild” brain injuries on its functioning;
3. The role that advances in AI and machine learning are starting to play in supporting neuroradiologists in making medical diagnoses and prognostication.

Audiences:
Front-line service providers,
Middle managers,
Senior leaders,
Policy makers,
Patient/Family partners/advocates,
Researchers

Click here to register for the webinar on February 17, 2021 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM ET.

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Dr. Benjamin Dunkley is a Scientist in Diagnostic Imaging and the Neurosciences & Mental Health Program at SickKids and an Assistant Professor in Medical Imaging at the University of Toronto. He studied for his PhD at Cardiff University, UK, and he completed his postdoctoral training at SickKids. His current research program focuses on the disruption to neural function and circuits in health and disease in children and adults.

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Created by Logan Green on 2020/11/26 23:25