DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS

Novel Detection of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Posted July 26, 2016
Yu-Chung Norman Cheng, Ph.D., Wayne State University

Yu-Chung Norman Cheng, Ph.D.

The pathological injuries sustained after traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can take on a variety of different forms.  The spectrum can range from disruption of fiber tracts to chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Our current understanding of the long-term acute and chronic consequences of TBI is imperfect. What is known is that the consequences of TBI depend on the severity of the injury, and the frequency of injuries as well. Research that provides prognostic and diagnostic markers is sorely needed so that we can understand the nature of these injuries at their earliest stages. Dr. Yu-Chung Norman Cheng of Wayne State University has engaged rigorous phantom studies and numerical simulations for the quantifications of microbleeds, which contribute to the pathology of TBI. Microbleeds represent disruptions of small vessels and are possibly a result of TBI. These disruptions may indicate one of the first stages of long-term neurodegeneration. Dr. Cheng is developing advanced MRI and post processing methods that can quantify these bleeds; they typically will deposit small amounts of iron. The new strategy developed by Dr. Cheng can measure the magnetic moment of each microbleed and may also estimate the volume and magnetic susceptibility of each microbleed. The iron-based phantom developed from this project can be applied across multiple research sites.  While this research is currently preclinical, it is hoped that the technologies developed by Dr. Cheng and his team will lead to the early detection of TBI pathology, so that careful and appropriate care can be given to those who have sustained TBIs.

Last updated Tuesday, July 26, 2016