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AT-NCIGT - The National Center for Advanced Technologies for Image Guided Therapy

Katherine Breedlove, PhD: The Injury-System Paradigm and the Essential Role of Neuroimaging in Concussion

Katherine Breedlove

Katherine Breedlove, PhD
Research Associate in Radiology
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School


Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has proven to be a challenging injury to study. It presents with a complex set of symptoms, highly individualized and dependent on the specifics of the injury, and in the truly mild form, does not yield any gross defects in the brain tissue. Nevertheless, neuroimaging has provided crucial insight into better understanding injury mechanism and recovery. In this talk I will describe the Injury System Paradigm (ISP), which is a framework for studying the complex relationship between head impact biomechanics and ensuing change in brain function. I will provide examples for several key developments over the past 10 years which were based on ISP and enabled through the synthesis of neuroimaging modalities—including fMRI, DTI, MRS, and MRE—with other biomechanical or neurocognitive data. Finally, I will describe planned future applications of neuroimaging to better understand recovery trajectory and ultimately understand individual variation in injury risk.

Short Bio

Katherine is Research Fellow in Radiology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital under the guidance of Dr. Alexander Lin. Her work at BWH focuses on using neuroimaging technology to study the mechanism and outcomes following sport-related concussion. Katherine completed her MS and PhD at Purdue University as a member of the Purdue Neurotrauma Laboratory and her BS degree in Athletic Training from Boston University. She has previously held postdoctoral positions at the University of Delaware and the University of Michigan and has previously worked on the sports medicine staffs at Boston College, Purdue University, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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