Using neuroimaging and electroencephalography (EEG) techniques, Kessler Foundation researchers compared the neural correlates of homeostasis in individuals with TBI and their matched controls. This study is the first to report measures of EEG-based functional connectivity during a homeostasis task and show association with white matter integrity of the brain.
The article, “Theoretical analysis of EEG functional conduction graph during homeostasis in traumatic brain injury: a pilot study” (doi: 10.1002/hbm.25554.), was published online on July 26, 2021 by Mapping the human brain. IOpen access is available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8410544/. The authors are Vikram Shenoy Handiru, PhD, Alaleh Alivar, PhD, Armand Hoxha, MS, Soha Saleh, PhD, Easter S. Suviseshamuthu, PhD, Guang Yue, PhD, and Didier Alexander, PhD, of the Center for Mobility Engineering and Rehabilitation Research at the Kessler Foundation. .
Postural instability is an understudied complication of TBI that impedes progress in rehabilitation, limits independence, and jeopardizes safety. Despite affecting the daily lives of individuals and their caregivers, little research has been done on the neural mechanisms that contribute to homeostasis.
In this pilot study, researchers in Dr. Alexander’s Laboratory of Neuromuscular Physics and Neurophysiology studied 17 adults with TBI and 15 matched controls. Using a computerized imaging platform and an electroencephalogram, the scientists performed random disturbances of balance and measured each participant’s neurological and postural responses. Furthermore, a subset of participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed at the Rocco Ortenzio Center for Neuroimaging at the Kessler Foundation, to measure the structural integrity of the brain using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).
DTI studies demonstrated extensive structural damage in the TBI group, which had poor balance performance and decreased brain activity and connectivity during balance tasks. Histogram-theoretical measures of brain functional connectivity derived from EEG data show abnormal brain network response during the balance task, an interesting finding that requires further investigation.
Using EEG-based histogram scales, we were able to explore differences in underlying structural and functional mechanisms in individuals with or without TBI, which may lead to the identification of a neurobiological marker of imbalance. Future investigations need to look at how brain networks affected by brain injury are modified. We hypothesize that postural training may be a means of ‘rewiring’ the damaged networks so that their function mimics that of a healthy brain, and leads to the desired outcome of improved balance function.”
Dr. Shinui Handero, lead author of the study, Kessler Foundation
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