Diffusion Tensor Imaging

More than 1.7 million people each year in the United States experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI), with the majority these injuries categorized as mild.

Mild TBI or concussion is difficult to diagnose because often the brain appears quite normal on conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The solution is to use neuroimaging tools such as Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), to detect brain injuries in mild TBI.

Diffusion tensor imaging, which is designed to help improve the diagnosis of concussions, can be performed by an M.R.I. machine and does not take longer than a standard M.R.I. The test measures the movement of water in nerve fibers in the brain. Abnormal flow many indicate injury and may also help better diagnose certain disease.

Other promising techniques include susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI), which is sensitive to micro- hemorrhages that may occur. This sequence estimates damage to the nerve fibers connected to certain areas of the brain. Both sequences are extremely beneficial in the diagnosis of concussion and traumatic brain injury.

Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, NY recently acquired diffusion tensor imaging software as well as susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) software. Dr. Nicholas Belasco, a physician member of the Bon Secours Medical Group and Director of the Concussion Management Program at Bon Secours Community Hospital, is the only credentialed Impact Consultant in the lower Hudson Valley.

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