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Thalamus and cognitive impairment in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Diffusional Kurtosis Imaging Study

Grossman EJ; Ge Y; Jensen JH; Babb JS; Miles L; Reaume J; Silver JM; Grossman RI; Inglese M
Conventional imaging is unable to detect damage that accounts for permanent cognitive impairment in patients with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). While diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) can help to detect diffuse axonal injury (DAI), it is a limited indicator of tissue complexity. It has also been suggested that the thalamus may play an important role in the development of clinical sequelae in MTBI. The purpose of this study was to determine if diffusional kurtosis imaging (DKI), a novel quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique, can provide early detection of damage in the thalamus and white matter (WM) of MTBI patients and if thalamic injury is associated with cognitive impairment. Twenty-two MTBI patients and 14 controls underwent MRI and neuropsychological testing. Mean kurtosis (MK), fractional anisotropy (FA), and mean diffusivity (MD) were measured in the thalamus and several WM regions classically identified with DAI. Compared to controls, patients examined within one year after injury exhibited variously altered DTI and DKI derived measures in the thalamus and the internal capsule while, in addition to these regions, patients examined more than one year after injury also showed similar differences in the splenium of the corpus callosum and the centrum semiovale. Cognitive impairment was correlated to MK in the thalamus and the internal capsule. These findings suggest that combined use of DTI and DKI provides a more sensitive tool for identifying brain injury. In addition, MK in the thalamus might be useful for early prediction of permanent brain damage and cognitive outcome
PMID: 21639753
ISSN: 1557-9042
CID: 135641

Two-year serial whole-brain N-acetyl-L-aspartate in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

Rigotti, D J; Inglese, M; Kirov, I I; Gorynski, E; Perry, N N; Babb, J S; Herbert, J; Grossman, R I; Gonen, O
OBJECTIVES: To test the hypotheses that 1) patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RR-MS) exhibit a quantifiable decline in their whole-brain concentration of the neural marker N-acetyl-l-aspartate (WBNAA), that is 2) more sensitive than clinical changes and 3) may provide a practical outcome measure for proof-of-concept and larger phase III clinical trials. METHODS: Nineteen patients (5 men and 14 women) with clinically definite RR-MS, who were 33 +/- 5 years old (mean +/- SD), had a disease duration of 47 +/- 28 months, and had a median Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score of 1.0 (range 0-5.5), underwent MRI and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) semiannually for 2 years (5 time points). Eight matched control subjects underwent the protocol annually (3 time points). Their global N-acetyl-l-aspartate (1)H-MRS signal was converted into absolute amounts by phantom replacement and into WBNAA by dividing with the brain parenchymal volume, V(B), from MRI segmentation. RESULTS: The baseline WBNAA of the patients (10.5 +/- 1.7 mM) was significantly lower than that of the controls (12.3 +/- 1.3 mM; p < 0.002) and declined significantly (5%/year, p < 0.002) vs that for the controls who did not show a decline (0.4%/year, p > 0.7). Likewise, V(B) values of the patients also declined significantly (0.5%/year, p < 0.0001), whereas those of the controls did not (0.2%/year, p = 0.08). The mean EDSS score of the patients increased insignificantly from 1.0 to 1.5 (range 0-6.0) and did not correlate with V(B) or WBNAA. CONCLUSIONS: WBNAA of patients with RR-MS declined significantly at both the group and individual levels over a 2-year time period common in clinical trials. Because of the small sample sizes required to establish power, WBNAA can be incorporated into future studies.
PMID: 22517095
ISSN: 0028-3878
CID: 167136

Characterizing brain oxygen metabolism in patients with multiple sclerosis with T2-relaxation-under-spin-tagging MRI

Ge, Yulin; Zhang, Zhongwei; Lu, Hanzhang; Tang, Lin; Jaggi, Hina; Herbert, Joseph; Babb, James S; Rusinek, Henry; Grossman, Robert I
In this study, venous oxygen saturation and oxygen metabolic changes in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients were assessed using a recently developed T2-relaxation-under-spin-tagging (TRUST) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which measures the superior sagittal venous sinus blood oxygenation (Yv) and cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO(2)), an index of global oxygen consumption. Thirty patients with relapsing-remitting MS and 30 age-matched healthy controls were studied using TRUST at 3 T MR. The mean expanded disability status scale (EDSS) of the patients was 2.3 (range, 0 to 5.5). We found significantly increased Yv (P<0.0001) and decreased CMRO(2) (P=0.003) in MS patients (mean+/-s.d.: 65.9%+/-5.1% and 138.8+/-35.4 mumol per 100 g per minute) as compared with healthy control subjects (60.2%+/-4.0% and 180.2+/-24.8 mumol per 100 g per minute, respectively), implying decrease of oxygen consumption in MS. There was a significant positive correlation between Yv and EDSS and between Yv and lesion load in MS patients (n=30); on the contrary, there was a significant negative correlation between CMRO(2) and EDSS and between CMRO(2) and lesion load (n=12). There was no correlation between Yv and brain atrophy measures. This study showed preliminary evidence of the potential utility of TRUST in global oxygen metabolism. Our results of significant underutilization of oxygen in MS raise important questions regarding mitochondrial respiratory dysfunction and neurodegeneration of the disease.
PMID: 22252237
ISSN: 0271-678x
CID: 158690

View from above

Hricak, Hedvig; Brody, William R; Debatin, Jorg F; Grossman, Robert I; Zerhouni, Elias A
PMID: 22282180
ISSN: 0033-8419
CID: 159311

Brain iron quantification in mild traumatic brain injury: a magnetic field correlation study

Raz, E; Jensen, J H; Ge, Y; Babb, J S; Miles, L; Reaume, J; Grossman, R I; Inglese, M
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Experimental studies have suggested a role for iron accumulation in the pathology of TBI. Magnetic field correlation MR imaging is sensitive to the presence of non-heme iron. The aims of this study are to 1) assess the presence, if any, and the extent of iron deposition in the deep gray matter and regional white matter of patients with mTBI by using MFC MR imaging; and 2) investigate the association of regional brain iron deposition with cognitive and behavioral performance of patients with mTBI. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We prospectively enrolled 28 patients with mTBI. Eighteen healthy subjects served as controls. The subjects were administered the Stroop color word test, the Verbal Fluency Task, and the Post-Concussion Symptoms Scale. The MR imaging protocol (on a 3T imager) consisted of conventional brain imaging and MFC sequences. After the calculation of parametric maps, MFC was measured by using a region of interest approach. MFC values across groups were compared by using analysis of covariance, and the relationship of MFC values and neuropsychological tests were evaluated by using Spearman correlations. RESULTS: Compared with controls, patients with mTBI demonstrated significant higher MFC values in the globus pallidus (P = .002) and in the thalamus (P = .036). In patients with mTBI, Stroop test scores were associated with the MFC value in frontal white matter (r = -0.38, P = .043). CONCLUSIONS: MFC values were significantly elevated in the thalamus and globus pallidus of patients with mTBI, suggesting increased accumulation of iron. This supports the hypothesis that deep gray matter is a site of injury in mTBI and suggests a possible role for iron accumulation in the pathophysiological events after mTBI
PMID: 21885717
ISSN: 1936-959x
CID: 141487

Thalamic resting-state functional networks: disruption in patients with mild traumatic brain injury

Tang, Lin; Ge, Yulin; Sodickson, Daniel K; Miles, Laura; Zhou, Yongxia; Reaume, Joseph; Grossman, Robert I
Purpose: To explore the neural correlates of the thalamus by using resting-state functional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and to investigate whether thalamic resting-state networks (RSNs) are disrupted in patients with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Materials and Methods: This HIPAA-compliant study was approved by the institutional review board, and written informed consent was obtained from 24 patients with MTBI and 17 healthy control subjects. The patients had varying degrees of symptoms, with a mean disease duration of 22 days. The resting-state functional MR imaging data were analyzed by using a standard seed-based whole-brain correlation method to characterize thalamic RSNs. Student t tests were used to perform comparisons. The association between thalamic RSNs and performance on neuropsychologic and neurobehavioral measures was also investigated in patients with MTBI by using Spearman rank correlation. Results: A normal pattern of thalamic RSNs was demonstrated in healthy subjects. This pattern was characterized as representing relatively symmetric and restrictive functional thalamocortical connectivity, suggesting an inhibitory property of the thalamic neurons during the resting state. This pattern was disrupted, with significantly increased thalamic RSNs (P </= .005) and decreased symmetry (P = .03) in patients with MTBI compared with healthy control subjects. Increased functional thalamocortical redistributive connectivity was correlated with diminished neurocognitive functions and clinical symptoms in patients with MTBI. Conclusion: These findings of abnormal thalamic RSNs lend further support to the presumed subtle thalamic injury in patients with MTBI. Resting-state functional MR imaging can be used as an additional imaging modality for detection of thalamocortical connectivity abnormalities and for better understanding of the complex persistent postconcussive syndrome. (c) RSNA, 2011
PMID: 21775670
ISSN: 1527-1315
CID: 136638

Global N-acetylaspartate declines even in benign multiple sclerosis

Rigotti, D J; Gonen, O; Grossman, R I; Babb, J S; Falini, A; Benedetti, B; Filippi, M
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Neuro-axonal damage is a well known sequelae of MS pathogeneses. Consequently, our aim was to test whether the approximately 20% of patients with MS exhibiting a clinically benign disease course also have minimal neural dysfunction as reflected by the global concentration of their MR imaging marker NAA. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Q(NAA) was obtained with nonlocalizing whole-head (1)H-MR spectroscopy in 43 patients with benign RRMS (30 women, 13 men; mean age, 44.7 +/- 7.3 years of age) with 21.0 +/- 4.4 years (range, 15-35 years) of disease duration from the first symptom and an EDSS score of 1.9 (range, 0-3). Q(NAA) was by divided by the brain volume (from MR imaging segmentation) to normalize it into WBNAA. All participants gave institutional review board-approved written informed consent, and the study was HIPAA compliant. RESULTS: The patients' lesion load was 12.2 +/- 7.7 cm(3). Their 8.3 +/- 1.8 mmol/L WBNAA was 35% lower than that in controls (P < .001). Individual average loss rates (absolute loss compared with controls divided by disease duration) clustered around 0.22 +/- 0.09 mmol/L/year (1.7%/year, assuming monotonic decline). This rate could be extrapolated from that already reported for patients with RRMS of much shorter disease duration. WBNAA did not correlate with lesion load or EDSS. CONCLUSIONS: Normal WBNAA is not characteristic of benign MS and is not an early predictor of its course. These patients, therefore, probably benefit from successful compensation and sparing of eloquent regions. Because they may ultimately have a rapid decline once their brain plasticity is exhausted, they may benefit from treatment options offered to more affected patients
PMID: 20966065
ISSN: 1936-959x
CID: 120642

Susceptibility Weighted Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis

Chapter by: Ge, Y; Grossman, RI; Haacke, EM
in: Susceptibility Weighted Imaging in MRI: Basic Concepts and Clinical Applications by
pp. 249-264
CID: 841432

Commentary: less is better: lessons from the new york university-mount sinai merger

Grossman, Robert I; Berne, Robert
Elsewhere in this issue, Kastor details the merger and demerger of New York University (NYU) and Mount Sinai hospitals and medical schools. Academic medical center mergers are difficult endeavors to execute under optimal circumstances. The failure of the NYU-Mount Sinai merger was inevitable on the basis of preexisting cultural distinctions, lack of substantial faculty and staff support, and the inability to generate significant early accomplishments that were meaningful to the respective constituencies. Economies of scale and improved academic performance are challenging for merged medical centers to achieve in the short term-caveat emptor. The authors of this commentary discuss, from the NYU perspective, key lessons learned and offer insights about how certain difficulties could have been addressed
PMID: 20856097
ISSN: 1938-808x
CID: 114821

Similar global N-acetylaspartate concentration in clinically benign and non-benign multiple sclerosis patients with more than 15 years of disease duration [Meeting Abstract]

Achtnichts, L; Gonen, O; Rigotti, D; Babb, JS; Naegelin, Y; Bendtfeld, K; Hirsch, J; Amann, M; Grossman, RI; Kappos, L; Gass, A
ISSN: 0340-5354
CID: 111905