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Physiological and behavioural consequences of network breakdown in brain injury

Balaratnam, Michelle Shereen; (2021) Physiological and behavioural consequences of network breakdown in brain injury. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major public health problem with a huge unmet need for effective long-term care. Advances in MRI technology using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) have demonstrated structural abnormalities in patients with TBI, often not seen on conventional brain imaging. The structural and neuropsychological consequences are described in existing research. The aim of this thesis is to identify whether there are physiological and behavioural consequences of TBI, which may be contributing to the observed problems in daily activities associated with this condition. This will help to understand the devastating functional impact following TBI, and its neurorehabilitation needs. This thesis initially develops a study protocol to investigate the physiology in TBI. Initial work explores physiology in thirty four healthy individuals using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to produce a study protocol that can be used in the patient group. This examined a selection of pathways, including the assessment of callosal physiology using a twin coil TMS method to assess for interhemispheric inhibition. This protocol was used to assess seventeen TBI patients, and compared to healthy controls, and demonstrated that callosal transfer is physiologically different between the two groups. The behavioural consequences of callosal transfer were then explored through the development of a bimanual tapping task in twenty nine healthy participants. The behavioural consequences were then assessed in the same group of TBI patients, and compared to the control group. The TBI patients had comparable mean performance. However, the variability in performance was the main difference between the two groups. The MRI DTI metrics were then investigated in the TBI and control groups. A relationship between the physiology, behaviour and microstructure was then explored. Through this series of investigations this thesis hopes to increase existing understanding of the consequences of brain injury.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Physiological and behavioural consequences of network breakdown in brain injury
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author [2021]. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10136463
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