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Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2015 Dec 21;3(2):124-31. doi: 10.1002/acn3.280. eCollection 2016 Feb.

Reduced brain connectivity and mental flexibility in mild traumatic brain injury.

Author information

1
Division of Neurology Hospital for Sick Children Toronto Ontario Canada; Program in Neurosciences and Mental Health Sick Kids Research Institute Toronto Ontario Canada; Faculty of Medicine University of Toronto Toronto Ontario Canada.
2
Faculty of Medicine University of Toronto Toronto Ontario Canada; Diagnostic Imaging Hospital for Sick Children Toronto Ontario Canada.
3
Simon Fraser University Burnaby British Columbia Canada.
4
Faculty of Medicine University of Toronto Toronto Ontario Canada; Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Toronto Ontario Canada.
5
Program in Neurosciences and Mental Health Sick Kids Research Institute Toronto Ontario Canada; Faculty of Medicine University of Toronto Toronto Ontario Canada; Department of Psychology University of Toronto Toronto Ontario Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

A mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), or concussion, has known neuropsychological sequelae, and neuroimaging shows disturbed brain connectivity during the resting state. We hypothesized that task-based functional connectivity measures, using magnetoencephalography (MEG), would better link the neurobiological underpinnings of cognitive deficits to specific brain damage.

METHODS:

We used a mental flexibility task in the MEG and compared brain connectivity between adults with and without mTBI.

RESULTS:

Affected individuals showed significant reductions in connectivity. When challenged with a more difficult task, these individuals were not able to "boost" their connectivity, and as such, showed deterioration in performance.

INTERPRETATION:

We discuss these findings in the context of limitations in cognitive reserve as a consequence of a mTBI.

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