Changes in intrinsic functional brain networks following blast-induced mild traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2013;27(11):1304-10. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2013.823561.


Objective: Blast-induced mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) commonly go undetected by computed tomography and conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This study was used to investigate functional brain network abnormalities in a group of blast-induced mTBI subjects using independent component analysis (ICA) of resting state functional MRI (fMRI) data.

Methods: Twenty-eight resting state networks of 13 veterans who sustained blast-induced mTBI were compared with healthy controls across three fMRI domains: blood oxygenation level-dependent spatial maps, time course spectra and functional connectivity.

Results: The mTBI group exhibited hyperactivity in the temporo-parietal junctions and hypoactivity in the left inferior temporal gyrus. Abnormal frequencies in default-mode (DMN), sensorimotor, attentional and frontal networks were detected. In addition, functional connectivity was disrupted in six network pairs: DMN-basal ganglia, attention-sensorimotor, frontal-DMN, attention-sensorimotor, attention-frontal and sensorimotor-sensorimotor.

Conclusions: The results suggest white matter disruption across certain attentional networks. Additionally, given their elevated activity relative to controls', the temporo-parietal junctions of blast mTBI subjects may be compensating for diffuse axonal injury in other cortical regions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention
  • Blast Injuries / pathology
  • Blast Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Concussion / pathology
  • Brain Concussion / physiopathology*
  • Cognition Disorders / pathology
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / pathology
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Recovery of Function
  • United States
  • Veterans*