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Corpus Callosum Integrity and Neuropsychological Performance After Traumatic Brain Injury: A Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study

Arenth, Patricia M. PhD; Russell, Kathryn C. PhD; Scanlon, Joelle M. PhD; Kessler, Lauren J. BS; Ricker, Joseph H. PhD

The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation: March/April 2014 - Volume 29 - Issue 2 - p E1–E10
doi: 10.1097/HTR.0b013e318289ede5
Original Articles

Objectives: (1) Detailed analysis of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) parameters (fractional anisotropy and radial diffusivity) to evaluate white matter integrity in the corpus callosum (CC), and (2) examine correlations between DTI data and performance on multiple measures of cognitive functioning.

Participants: Twelve individuals with a history of complicated mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) who were an average of 1.7 years postinjury and 12 control participants.

Main Measures: Standardized and experimental neuropsychological tests; detailed analysis of DTI parameters.

Results: The TBI group demonstrated DTI values suggesting decreased white matter integrity and correlations with severity of injury. Both groups showed correlations between DTI parameters and cognitive measures, with more significant correlations observed for the TBI group. White matter changes in the CC were evident chronically and were related to severity of injury.

Conclusions: Diffusion tensor imaging parameters suggesting disruptions in white matter in the CC may be implicated in impaired performance, both in terms of cognitive tasks and reaction time, after TBI.

School of Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Drs Arenth, Russell, Scanlon, and Ricker and Ms Kessler); Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (Drs Arenth, Russell, and Ricker); School of Medicine, Safar Center for Resuscitation Research (Dr Russell), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Corresponding Author: Joseph H. Ricker, PhD, New York University School of Medicine, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Rusk Rehabilitation at NYUMC, 240 E. 38th St, Suite 15-71, New York, NY 10016 (

This research was supported in part by a grant (NIH-NINDS R01NS048178-01) awarded to Dr Ricker. Dr Russell was supported by 5T32HD040686 during the preparation of this article.

P.M.A. and K.C.R. contributed equally to this art article. First authorship was determined randomly.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins