Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with long-term changes in daily life functioning, yet the neuroanatomical correlates of these changes are poorly understood. This study related outcome assessed across several domains to brain structure derived from quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Sixty individuals spanning a wide range of TBI severity participated 1-year post-injury as part of the Toronto TBI study. Volumetric data over 38 brain regions were derived from high resolution T1-weighted MRI scans. Functioning was assessed with a battery of self- and significant-other rated measures. Multivariate analysis (partial least squares) was used to identify shared variance between the neuroimaging and outcome measures. TBI was associated with item endorsement on outcome questionnaires without strong evidence for severity or focal lesion effects. Prefrontal midline, cingulate, medial temporal, right inferior parietal and basal ganglia/thalamic volumes were associated with measures of initiative, energization, and physical complaints. In the chronic stage of TBI, self-initiation, energization, and physical complaints related to a specific pattern of volume loss in midline and lateral regions known to be involved in motivation, apathy, and attention. These results suggest that crucial functional changes in chronic TBI may be associated with volume loss in established midline-frontal and attentional circuits.
Keywords: Craniocerebral trauma; Diffuse axonal injury; Magnetic resonance imaging; Motivation; Psychology; Psychosocial aspects.