(HealthDay News) — Damage to specific brain regions may be linked to the prognosis of concussion patients with vestibulopathy, according to a study published online April 14 in Radiology.

Lea M. Alhilali, MD, from the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI) scans for 30 patients with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) and vestibular symptoms, 25 patients with mild TBI and ocular convergence insufficiency, 39 patients with mild TBI without vestibular abnormalities, and 17 patients with mild TBI and normal ocular convergence. To measure white matter integrity, fractional anisotropy (FA) maps were created.

The researchers found that patients with mild TBI and vestibular symptoms had decreased neurocognitive test scores (P<0.05) and lower FA values in the cerebellum and fusiform gyri (P<0.05). Diminished neurocognitive test scores (P<0.05) and lower FA values in the right anterior thalamic radiation and right geniculate nucleus optic tracts (P<.0001) were seen in patients with ocular convergence insufficiency. There was an inverse correlation between cerebellar injury and recovery time (P=0.02). Injuries in the anterior thalamic radiation were tied to decreased processing speed (P<0.05).

“DTI findings in patients with mild TBI and vestibulopathy support the hypothesis that posttraumatic vestibulopathy has a central axonal injury component,” the authors write.

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One author disclosed a financial relationship with ImPACT Applications.

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