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Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Jantzen, Kelly J. PhD

Section Editor(s): Bazarian, Jeffrey J. MD, MPH

Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation: July-August 2010 - Volume 25 - Issue 4 - p 256–266
doi: 10.1097/HTR.0b013e3181e5477c

Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) is a serious health problem that has been difficult to study because of the relative insensitivity of established anatomical imaging techniques for detecting the associated neural damage and dysfunction. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) offers potential for understanding the neural and functional basis of MTBI and the relationship to behavioral and somatic symptoms. This article reviews the recent fMRI literature relevant to the study of MTBI. The pathophysiology of MTBI and the neural basis of the blood oxygen level–dependent fMRI response are also considered with particular focus on important issues for using fMRI to investigate MTBI.

Western Washington University, Bellingham.

Corresponding Author: Kelly J. Jantzen, PhD, Western Washington University, 516 High St, Bellingham, WA 98225 (

A portion of this work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NS48229).

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.