The hunt for better brain scans is focusing on a new tool being tested in hopes of giving doctors an edge in determining when a blow to the head causes damage that today's standard testing simply can't see.
Too often, only time can tell when a traumatic brain injury will leave lasting harm.
The latest tool lights up the breaks these injuries leave deep in the brain's wiring, much like X-rays show broken bones. Research
is just beginning in civilian and military patients to learn if this new kind of MRI-based test really could pinpoint their injuries and one day guide rehabilitation.
About 1.7 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, in the U.S. each year. TBI also is a signature injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.