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Improving outcome of mild Traumatic Brain Injury with advanced brain imaging

36 months
Approved budget:
Dr Mangor Pedersen
Professor Alice Theadom
Dr Samantha Holdsworth
Professor Tania Ka'ai
Professor Sir Richard Faull
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Emerging Researcher First Grant
Lay summary
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) is one of the most common, potentially serious, and disabling brain conditions that affect approximately 35,000 New Zealanders every year. Yet currently, mTBI diagnosis and treatment is often based on guesswork. We cannot answer basic questions such as: do I have a mild brain injury? Will I recover quickly? Will brain injury result in long-term problems? I will tackle these questions by taking non-invasive images of brain structure and function using advanced MRI in people with an acute mTBI. I hypothesise that i) brain abnormalities are confined to the brain's frontal lobes following a mild brain injury; ii) and that structural and functional brain images will predict the recovery time of the brain injury. Gaining an understanding of the brain mechanisms underlying mTBI and its recovery is a step towards determining evidence-based guidelines to improve the clinical management of brain injuries.