Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant cause of morbidity in military Veterans and Service Members. While most individuals recover fully from mild injuries within weeks, some continue to experience symptoms including headaches, disrupted sleep, and other cognitive, behavioral or physical symptoms. Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) shows promise in identifying areas of structural disruption and predicting outcomes. Although some studies suggest widespread structural disruption after brain injury, dMRI studies of military brain injury have yielded mixed results so far, perhaps due to the subtlety of mild injury, individual differences in injury location, severity and mechanism, and comorbidity with other disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and substance abuse. We present preliminary dMRI results from the ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis) military brain injury working group. We found higher fractional anisotropy (FA) in participants with a history of TBI. Understanding the injury and recovery process, along with factors that influence these, will lead to improved diagnosis and treatment.
Keywords: ENIGMA; blast; diffusion MRI; military; traumatic brain injury.