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Janna Harris, PhD: How Neuroimaging Helps Tailor Treatments for Brain Injury

How Neuroimaging Helps Tailor Treatments for Brain Injury

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A neurometabolite is a chemical within cells in the brain that shows up in our MRS spectrum that reflects the function or the dysfunction within those cells. They correspond to mechanisms of injury. So for example, glutathione, which is a chemical that reflects antioxidant status in the brain. So one thing that happens in a traumatic brain injury is oxidative stress, and the levels of glutathione represent the levels of oxidative stress that occur after brain injury. In one individual, this may be a more prevalent mechanism and in another individual it might not be as prevalent, and you would want to treat person A with an antioxidant, and person B you might want to give them a different treatment.

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Neurometabolite is a chemical within cells in the brain that reflects function or dysfunction within those cells; they correspond to the mechanism of the injury. Neuroimaging can detect these and in turn, help medical professionals plan treatment accordingly.


Produced by Victoria Youcha, Brian King, and Jared Schaubert, BrainLine.

Janna Harris, PhDJanna Harris, PhD, Dr. Janna Harris received her PhD in Neurobiology from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Her doctoral research focused on the role of specific extracellular matrix proteoglycans in adaptive synaptic plasticity following brain trauma.

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