Nicole Brooks


Summer Research Description: Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) results from damage produced by movement of cerebral structures with differing densities, typically associated with injuries involving a severe acceleration/deceleration event. In traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients, DAI is broadly associated with poor outcomes. However, radiographically identified DAI is not well classified and its prognostic value is not well understood. Therefore, additional investigation is necessary to evaluate how clinical care should be directed by a diagnosis of DAI. The aim of this study is to identify survivors of TBI with DAI who were treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center between January 1, 2000 and June 30, 2013. These subjects will be contacted and their long-term quality of life and functional outcomes will be evaluated as compared to a matched control population of TBI survivors without evidence of DAI treated during the same time period. This data obtained through electronic medical record review and telephone interviews will be analyzed and may allow us to determine a relationship between severity and/or location of DAI and long-term quality of life, functional outcomes, and survival. These results could aid the clinician in the care of future patients with TBI and radiographic evidence of DAI.