DTI or Diffuse Tensor Imaging To Diagnose & Prove Traumatic Brain Injury

TBI, or traumatic brain injury, affects thousands of individuals. Those who received a head injury due to an automobile, motorcycle, bicycle, or construction accident, a fall, sporting accident, or even injured soldiers returning home from active duty overseas, may be suffering from this type of injury. Most brain injuries are considered mild and can be difficult to diagnose.

Some symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury may include…

  • dizziness
  • memory loss
  • depression
  • mood swings
  • sensory problems
  • an increase in the inability to concentrate
  • loss of motor function
  • Unconsciousness
  • Inability to remember the cause of the injury or events that occurred Immediately before or up to 24 hours after


  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Headache
  • Trouble speaking coherently
  • Changes in emotions or sleep patterns
  • difficulty learning and remembering new information
  • lack of coordination
  • problems with vision or hearing
  • Development of Alzheimer’s later in life

All of these symptoms can adversely affect a person’s quality of life, and when symptoms begin to present themselves, an individual may not even associate them with a head injury. When a person begins to act erratically or creates a disturbance that is out of character, questions must be answered as to what is causing the problem. Their ability to work, relate to others, or problem solve might be permanently affected. Sometimes the injury can cause criminal behavior, and is severe enough that the victim is arrested or charged with a crime. Road rage and reckless behavior can also be symptoms of TBI and are dangerous for both the victim and others. Understanding what is causing these changes in behavior is of utmost importance.

How is TBI diagnosed?

DTI Diffuse Tensor Imaging of brain connectionsHistorically, patients have been evaluated by learning the circumstances of the injury, assessment of the patient’s level of consciousness and confusion, assessing vision, thinking, responses, hearing, touch, balance, reflexes & more. Other procedures may include an MRI or a CT scan, which will not detect diffuse axonal injuries (DAI). However, thanks to a newer technology, called DTI, or Diffusion Tensor Imaging, doctors can diagnose traumatic brain injuries which may have not have been apparent at the time of the accident or afterwards. While many instances of brain injury are obvious, some individuals may suffer from less apparent symptoms that may go unnoticed.

How Does DTI or Diffusion Tensor Imaging Work?

Diffusion Tensor Imaging brings more accurate findings to the table when uncovering the true extent of a patient’s traumatic brain injuries. This non-invasive technique, (which has been around since 1994) creates a mapping of the diffusion process of molecules, mainly water, in biological tissues. This technique reveals abnormalities in white matter fiber structure and shows models of brain connectivity. This helps identify areas in the brain where blockages and tissue damage may be present. DTI is able to shed light on what is causing problems, and allow doctors and their patients to trace it to a specific incident or cause.

How Can DTI Help Patients With Traumatic Brain Injury?

This diagnostic technology can give an attorney more specific information they need to provide the best legal representation possible for their client. A lawyer can use the findings for use in legal action against the party responsible for the injury. It can also be used as defense for court cases where the defendant has been charged with a crime, but is actually suffering from a TBI. Individuals who are hurt on construction sites or in accidents may have grounds for a lawsuit if their injuries are severe enough to cause temporary or irreparable damage.

Having traumatic brain injuries can dramatically impact a person’s ability to lead a normal life. Using DTI technology to determine the extent of one’s injuries can help them regain control of their life. It will allow them to get the treatment they need, while taking care of the obligations they have to both their family and their job.

Individuals who experienced their brain injuries due to an accident or negligence can contact a lawyer to determine if they are entitled to any type of compensation. The law firm can research the incident as as it relates to the injuries received by the client and devise a tentative plan of action.

Is DTI Admissible In Court?

Not one court case in the country has excluded DTI findings for evidence! In conjunction with expert testimony, this has been a very effective method of diagnosing and proving the most elusive levels of TBI, which are mild to moderate. DTI could be a determining factor for a court decision in favor of the victim. In a more recent New Mexico case, Ebel v. Joe F. Apache, Case No: D-101-cv, 2012-01210, DTI was found to satisfy the standards for admissibility of expert testimony. This finding, along with other many other court cases allowing DTI have set a precedent for litigation in the future.

Using DTI to uncover the depth and nature of a person’s traumatic brain injuries, can allow a victim put their life back together. Having an accurate diagnosis will not only help from a legal standpoint, but also enable doctors to provide the appropriate care to the individual who received the injury.

For further reading, please read the following article for more information on Traumatic Brain Injuries.