Press releases were sent to the medical news media for the following articles appearing in recent issues of Radiology.
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) findings in patients with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) and vestibulopathy support the hypothesis that posttraumatic vestibulopathy has a central axonal injury component, new research shows.
Lea M. Alhilali, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed DTI images in 30 patients with mild TBI and vestibular symptoms and 25 patients with mild TBI and ocular convergence insufficiency. Control subjects consisted of 39 patients with mild TBI without vestibular abnormalities and 17 patients with mild TBI and normal ocular convergence.
Fractional anisotropy (FA) maps were generated as a measure of white matter integrity and were analyzed with tract-based spatial statistics regression analysis by using a general linear model. DTI abnormalities were correlated with symptom severity, neurocognitive test scores and time to recovery with the Pearson correlation coefficient.
Patients with mild TBI and ocular convergence insufficiency have decreased FA in the right anterior thalamic radiation and right geniculate nucleus optic tracts compared with control subjects (P < .0001), with anterior thalamic radiation injury showing a correlation with decreased processing speed (R = 0.402, P < .05).
“This has the potential to change the current clinical management of vestibulopathy in mild TBI, which previously lacked both an understanding of the central component of the underlying injury, as well as biomarkers to aid in prognosis,” the authors write.
Altered regional brain function was detected in the prefrontal cortex and globus pallidus—as well as aberrant functional connectivity (FC) in large-scale networks—in children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), new research shows.
Fei Li, Ph.D., of West China Hospital of Sichuan University, and colleagues compared resting state functional MR imaging (rfMRI) results in 33 boys with ADHD, ages 6 to 16, with those of 32 similarly aged, healthy controls. Amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation and seed-based FC were calculated to examine regional neural function and functional integration, respectively, and were compared between patients and control subjects using the voxel-based two-sample t test. Pearson correlation analyses were performed to identify neural correlates of executive function.
Patients with ADHD showed altered structure and function in areas of the brain including the orbitofrontal cortex and the globus pallidus, according to researchers. “Our research suggests that the characteristics of the brain’s resting-state functional architecture are relevant to understanding relationships between neural substrate and executive function in ADHD,” they write.
In asymptomatic diabetic patients, body mass index (BMI) was the primary modifiable risk factor associated with total and soft coronary plaque as assessed with coronary CT angiography (CTA), according to new research.
In a study by Alan C. Kwan, B.A., National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, Md., and colleagues, 224 asymptomatic diabetic patients underwent coronary CTA. Total coronary artery wall volume in all three vessels was measured by using semiautomated software. Researchers determined the coronary plaque volume index (PVI) by dividing the wall volume by the coronary length.
Results showed that PVI in the proximal coronary arteries is more closely related to the calcium score than to the total coronary plaque index (r = 0.57 vs 0.47, respectively; P < 001). Major determinants of plaque in diabetic patients in addition to age and sex are BMI (P< .0001) and duration of diabetes (P = .03).
“This study supports reduction of BMI as a therapeutic goal to reduce cardiovascular risk in diabetic patients,” the authors wrote.
In the diabetic population of an Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes substudy, duration of diabetes and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) were associated with brain atrophy—specifically that of gray matter—but were not associated with greater ischemic lesion volumes, new research shows.
In a study of 614 patients with type 2 diabetes, R. Nick Bryan, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and colleagues evaluated baseline severity by testing FPG, hemo-globin A1c levels and duration of diabetes. MR imaging was performed with fluid-attenuated inversion recovery, proton-density and T2-weighted and T1-weighted sequences, which were postprocessed with an automated computer algorithm classifying brain tissue as gray or white matter and as normal or ischemic.
Longer duration of diabetes was associated with lower gray matter volumes (r = 20.11), possibly reflecting direct neurologic insult; higher FPG levels showed similar associations with lower brain volumes (r = 20.10). Researchers found no association of diabetes characteristics with small vessel ischemic disease in the brain.
“Our findings raise the possibility that cognitive changes arising in patients with diabetes might not be strongly related to vascular dementia but to neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer disease,” the authors wrote.
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