Wake Forest Baptist, VA partner to advance treatment of PTSD and TBI
January 05, 2020
In addition to assessing functional brain networks with MEG, the investigators will examine the structure of white matter pathways of the brain to see whether the physical connections between brain areas may also differ among those with and without the disorder. The major goal of the study is to define biomarkers of PTSD and TBI so that doctors will have a way to very quickly identify patients with PTSD and get them treatment without delay, as well as to chart their progress in response to treatment.
"The MEG is a special form of imaging," Godwin said. "It provides information that you can't get easily, or at all, with other methods. When a person thinks something, we can immediately detect the underlying brain processes. It's not 'mind reading,' because we can't tell what the content of the thought may be, but with the right kind of test, we can resolve patterns of activation that relate to executive function. We're in a very special place with our ability to answer these kinds of questions using this type of imaging."
MEG is a brain imaging technique that measures the magnetic fields emitted by brain cells (neurons), allowing the mapping of brain activity with great precision in the time scale in which the brain operates. Wake Forest Baptist is one of only about 35 clinical sites in the country, and the only site in North Carolina and surrounding states, to use MEG. It is non-invasive, highly sensitive and accurate, and completely safe, as patients are not exposed to radiation.
"This is a very exciting collaboration for us," Godwin said. "If we can find biomarkers of PTSD, there's hope that we'll be able to improve diagnosis and treatment. It's an incredible challenge, but we have a great team."
SOURCE Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center