A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (When There is a Common Language): Overcoming Obstacles in TBI Neuroimaging Research


Advances in neuroimaging over the past two decades has led to many new findings in a number of neurologic disorders, including traumatic brain injury (TBI). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been one area where there has been improved resolution, speed of acquisition, the addition of new imaging sequences, and greatly improved 3-dimensional visualization of complex anatomy. Parallel to such advances in image acquisition are a number of advances in computer technology used to quantify various neuroanatomical features derived from medical imaging. Taken together, these improvements have changed the way medical imaging is used in clinical settings and there are now numerous efforts to establish more standardized, evidence-based uses, especially in the area of TBI.

This symposium addresses advances in neuroimaging that have the potential to enhance the use of such techniques in both research and clinical practice in TBI. More specifically, speakers in this symposium will discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of current imaging methods and their application to understanding TBI. Dr. Martha Shenton will provide an overview of the “”state-of-the-science”” in structural and functional imaging techniques in TBI. This is intended to provide an overview of the most promising techniques. Dr. Erin Bigler will review recent data and address issues related to MR imaging measurement challenges in intra-individual, multi-site, and longitudinal studies. Dr. Elisabeth Wilde will review recent efforts in TBI and related fields to standardize imaging acquisition parameters to enhance “”big data”” efforts, including initiatives and projects sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and the American College of Radiology. Dr. David Tate will highlight current efforts to standardize imaging analytic techniques in and across cohorts with a specific focus on structural and diffusion imaging data. Dr. Sylvain Bouix will address efforts to harmonize previously collected data that may further enhance large data aggregation. He will also address novel analytic strategies to address individualized, precision-medicine analysis. Finally, Dr. Inga Koerte will review recent imaging efforts in special TBI populations, such as athletes sustaining sports-related concussion and will address MR image acquisition and analysis issues related to differences in injury mechanisms.

Ultimately, this symposium is designed with the clinician, researcher, and forensic expert in mind. Individuals attending this symposia should be able to describe recent advances in neuroimaging in TBI and its potential for detecting/monitoring trauma-related abnormalities, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of modern imaging methods, and describe the potential benefits of big data approaches in TBI.


  • Describe recent advances in neuroimaging in TBI and its potential for detecting and monitoring trauma-related short- and long-term pathology and recovery.
  • Discuss efforts to enhance standardization of imaging parameters, clinical read variables, quality assurance, acquisition parameters, and post-processing analytic techniques.
  • Discuss new approaches to both “Big Data” and individual, patient-centered, precision-medicine analyses in TBI-related imaging data.

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