After comparing more than 20,000 brain scans, researchers have identified differences between Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) despite both conditions sharing common symptoms.
"This discovery is breakthrough information for anyone diagnosed with either TBI or PTSD or both," said Theodore Henderson, MD, PhD, a co-author of the study, published last week in PLOS One, the seventh most cited medical journal in the world. "Now that we can tell the difference between TBI and PTSD, clinicians can apply more targeted and appropriate treatments, and achieve advances with their patients."
Believed to be the largest functional neuroimaging study ("Functional Neuroimaging Distinguishes Posttraumatic Stress Disorder from Traumatic Brain Injury in Focused and Large Community Datasets"), researchers used single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to obtain biological differences between TBI and PTSD in the brain. This neuroimaging method and landmark study "demystify" these two conditions that both may appear with symptoms like anxiety, depression, mood dysregulation, irritability and other cognitive breakdowns, according to Dr. Henderson. Read more.