The long-term time course of neuropathological changes occurring in survivors from severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains uncertain. We investigated the brain morphometry and memory performance modifications within the same group of severe non-missile traumatic brain injury patients (nmTBI) after about ∼one year and at ∼ nine years from injury. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements were performed with voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to determine specific changes in the gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) and the overall gray matter volume modifications (GMV) and white matter volume modifications (WMV). Contemporarily, memory-tests were also administered. In comparison with healthy control subjects (HC), those with nmTBI showed a significant change and volume reduction in the GM and WM and also in the GMV and WMV after ∼one year; conversely, ∼nine years after injury, neurodegenerative changes spared the GM and GMV, but a prominent loss was detected in WMV and in WM sites, such as the superior longitudinal fasciculi, the body of the corpus callosum, the optic radiation, and the uncinate fasciculus. Memory performance at ∼one year in comparison with ∼nine years was stable with a subtle but significant trend toward recovery. These data demonstrate that patients with nmTBI undergo neurodegenerative processes during the chronic stage affecting mainly the cerebral WM rather than GM. Despite these anatomical brain parenchyma losses, memory performance tends to be stable or even slightly recovered. These results suggest possible correlations between progressive demyelinization and/or neuropsychiatric changes other than memory performance, and support possible treatments to prevent long-term WM degeneration of the examined nmTBI.

Brain Neurodegeneration in the Chronic Stage of the Survivors from Severe Non-Missile Traumatic Brain Injury: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Within-Group at One versus Nine Years from a Head Injury

Francesco Tomaiuolo
Primo
;
Giovanni Raffa
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Maria Catena Quattropani;Antonino Germanò
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
2021

Abstract

The long-term time course of neuropathological changes occurring in survivors from severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains uncertain. We investigated the brain morphometry and memory performance modifications within the same group of severe non-missile traumatic brain injury patients (nmTBI) after about ∼one year and at ∼ nine years from injury. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements were performed with voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to determine specific changes in the gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) and the overall gray matter volume modifications (GMV) and white matter volume modifications (WMV). Contemporarily, memory-tests were also administered. In comparison with healthy control subjects (HC), those with nmTBI showed a significant change and volume reduction in the GM and WM and also in the GMV and WMV after ∼one year; conversely, ∼nine years after injury, neurodegenerative changes spared the GM and GMV, but a prominent loss was detected in WMV and in WM sites, such as the superior longitudinal fasciculi, the body of the corpus callosum, the optic radiation, and the uncinate fasciculus. Memory performance at ∼one year in comparison with ∼nine years was stable with a subtle but significant trend toward recovery. These data demonstrate that patients with nmTBI undergo neurodegenerative processes during the chronic stage affecting mainly the cerebral WM rather than GM. Despite these anatomical brain parenchyma losses, memory performance tends to be stable or even slightly recovered. These results suggest possible correlations between progressive demyelinization and/or neuropsychiatric changes other than memory performance, and support possible treatments to prevent long-term WM degeneration of the examined nmTBI.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3176611
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