White matter integrity of the medial forebrain bundle and attention and working memory deficits following traumatic brain injury

Jacqueline A. Owens, Gershon Spitz, Jennie L. Ponsford, Alicia Dymowski, Nicholas Ferris, Catherine Willmott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background and Objective: The medial forebrain bundle (MFB) contains ascending catecholamine fibers that project to the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Damage to these fibers following traumatic brain injury (TBI) may alter extracellular catecholamine levels in the PFC and impede attention and working memory ability. This study investigated white matter microstructure of the medial MFB, specifically the supero-lateral branch (slMFB), following TBI, and its association with performance on attention and working memory tasks. Method: Neuropsychological measures of attention and working memory were administered to 20 moderate-severe participants with TBI (posttraumatic amnesia M = 40.05 ± 37.10 days, median time since injury 10.48 months, range 3.72-87.49) and 20 healthy controls. Probabilistic tractography was used to obtain fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) values for 17 participants with TBI and 20 healthy controls. Results: When compared to controls, participants with TBI were found to have significantly lower FA (p < .001) and higher MD (p < .001) slMFB values, and they were slower to complete tasks including Trail Making Task-A, Hayling, selective attention task, n-back, and Symbol Digit Modalities Test. Conclusion: This study was the first to demonstrate microstructural white matter damage within the slMFB following TBI. However, no evidence was found for an association of alterations to this tract and performance on attentional tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00608
Number of pages11
JournalBrain and Behavior
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Medial forebrain bundle
  • Traumatic brain injury

Cite this

@article{aceacf883096441cb586b2d3f438a141,
title = "White matter integrity of the medial forebrain bundle and attention and working memory deficits following traumatic brain injury",
abstract = "Background and Objective: The medial forebrain bundle (MFB) contains ascending catecholamine fibers that project to the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Damage to these fibers following traumatic brain injury (TBI) may alter extracellular catecholamine levels in the PFC and impede attention and working memory ability. This study investigated white matter microstructure of the medial MFB, specifically the supero-lateral branch (slMFB), following TBI, and its association with performance on attention and working memory tasks. Method: Neuropsychological measures of attention and working memory were administered to 20 moderate-severe participants with TBI (posttraumatic amnesia M = 40.05 ± 37.10 days, median time since injury 10.48 months, range 3.72-87.49) and 20 healthy controls. Probabilistic tractography was used to obtain fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) values for 17 participants with TBI and 20 healthy controls. Results: When compared to controls, participants with TBI were found to have significantly lower FA (p < .001) and higher MD (p < .001) slMFB values, and they were slower to complete tasks including Trail Making Task-A, Hayling, selective attention task, n-back, and Symbol Digit Modalities Test. Conclusion: This study was the first to demonstrate microstructural white matter damage within the slMFB following TBI. However, no evidence was found for an association of alterations to this tract and performance on attentional tasks.",
keywords = "Attention, Medial forebrain bundle, Traumatic brain injury",
author = "Owens, {Jacqueline A.} and Gershon Spitz and Ponsford, {Jennie L.} and Alicia Dymowski and Nicholas Ferris and Catherine Willmott",
year = "2017",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/brb3.608",
language = "English",
volume = "7",
journal = "Brain and Behavior",
issn = "2162-3279",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "2",

}

White matter integrity of the medial forebrain bundle and attention and working memory deficits following traumatic brain injury. / Owens, Jacqueline A.; Spitz, Gershon; Ponsford, Jennie L.; Dymowski, Alicia; Ferris, Nicholas; Willmott, Catherine.

In: Brain and Behavior, Vol. 7, No. 2, e00608, 01.02.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - White matter integrity of the medial forebrain bundle and attention and working memory deficits following traumatic brain injury

AU - Owens, Jacqueline A.

AU - Spitz, Gershon

AU - Ponsford, Jennie L.

AU - Dymowski, Alicia

AU - Ferris, Nicholas

AU - Willmott, Catherine

PY - 2017/2/1

Y1 - 2017/2/1

N2 - Background and Objective: The medial forebrain bundle (MFB) contains ascending catecholamine fibers that project to the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Damage to these fibers following traumatic brain injury (TBI) may alter extracellular catecholamine levels in the PFC and impede attention and working memory ability. This study investigated white matter microstructure of the medial MFB, specifically the supero-lateral branch (slMFB), following TBI, and its association with performance on attention and working memory tasks. Method: Neuropsychological measures of attention and working memory were administered to 20 moderate-severe participants with TBI (posttraumatic amnesia M = 40.05 ± 37.10 days, median time since injury 10.48 months, range 3.72-87.49) and 20 healthy controls. Probabilistic tractography was used to obtain fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) values for 17 participants with TBI and 20 healthy controls. Results: When compared to controls, participants with TBI were found to have significantly lower FA (p < .001) and higher MD (p < .001) slMFB values, and they were slower to complete tasks including Trail Making Task-A, Hayling, selective attention task, n-back, and Symbol Digit Modalities Test. Conclusion: This study was the first to demonstrate microstructural white matter damage within the slMFB following TBI. However, no evidence was found for an association of alterations to this tract and performance on attentional tasks.

AB - Background and Objective: The medial forebrain bundle (MFB) contains ascending catecholamine fibers that project to the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Damage to these fibers following traumatic brain injury (TBI) may alter extracellular catecholamine levels in the PFC and impede attention and working memory ability. This study investigated white matter microstructure of the medial MFB, specifically the supero-lateral branch (slMFB), following TBI, and its association with performance on attention and working memory tasks. Method: Neuropsychological measures of attention and working memory were administered to 20 moderate-severe participants with TBI (posttraumatic amnesia M = 40.05 ± 37.10 days, median time since injury 10.48 months, range 3.72-87.49) and 20 healthy controls. Probabilistic tractography was used to obtain fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) values for 17 participants with TBI and 20 healthy controls. Results: When compared to controls, participants with TBI were found to have significantly lower FA (p < .001) and higher MD (p < .001) slMFB values, and they were slower to complete tasks including Trail Making Task-A, Hayling, selective attention task, n-back, and Symbol Digit Modalities Test. Conclusion: This study was the first to demonstrate microstructural white matter damage within the slMFB following TBI. However, no evidence was found for an association of alterations to this tract and performance on attentional tasks.

KW - Attention

KW - Medial forebrain bundle

KW - Traumatic brain injury

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85007402635&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/brb3.608

DO - 10.1002/brb3.608

M3 - Article

VL - 7

JO - Brain and Behavior

JF - Brain and Behavior

SN - 2162-3279

IS - 2

M1 - e00608

ER -