< Back to previous page

Publication

Brain-behavior relationships in young traumatic brain injury patients: Fractional anisotropy measures are highly correlated with dynamic visuomotor tracking performance

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients have a high incidence of eye-hand coordination deficits. Diffuse axonal injury is common in TBI and is presumed to contribute to persistent motor problems. Using Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), this study sought to identify changes in (sensori)motor white matter (WM) pathways/regions in a TBI group during the chronic recovery stage. A secondary objective was to examine the relationship between WM integrity and upper-limb visuomotor tracking performance. A young TBI (n=17) and control (n=14) group performed a dynamic tracking task, characterized by increasing information processing speed and predictive movement control. DTI scans were administered along with standard anatomical scans. The TBI group was found to perform inferior to the control group on the tracking task. Decreased fractional anisotropy was found in the TBI group in dedicated pathways involved in transmission of afferent and efferent information, i.e., corticospinal tract, posterior thalamic radiation, and optic radiation, due to increased diffusivity parallel and perpendicular to axonal fibre direction. This decrease in WM integrity was associated with inferior visuomotor tracking performance. Moreover, discriminant function analysis demonstrated that the model, based on the combined application of DTI and behavioral measures, was the most effective in distinguishing between TBI patients and controls. This study shows that specific eye-hand coordination deficits in a young TBI group are related to microstructural abnormalities in task-specific cerebral WM structures. Measures of white matter integrity are potentially important biomarkers for TBI that may support prognosis of motor deficits.
Journal: Neuropsychologia
ISSN: 0028-3932
Issue: 5
Volume: 48
Pages: 1472 - 1482
Publication year:2010
BOF-keylabel:yes
IOF-keylabel:yes
BOF-publication weight:3
CSS-citation score:2
Authors:International
Authors from:Higher Education