Post-traumatic migraines are extremely common in people who suffer concussions. And while, for years, doctors have used MRI imaging to assess the damage caused by the injury as well predictability of migraines — the standard measurements have always had notorious shortcomings. Now, thankfully, researchers can use a mathematical tool to help determine which patients will go on to suffer migraines from concussions.
Interpreting MRI Results for Head Injuries
Instead of standard MRI feedback, scientists say they can use what’s called Shannon entropy — an information theory model. Using the model, doctors can interrupt MRI results more effectively by closely examining entropy in the brain.
In the first study of its kind, Dr. Alhilali and colleagues assessed the performance of Shannon entropy as a diagnostic tool in concussion patients with and without post-traumatic migraines.
They obtained MRI testing results in 74 concussion patients, including 57 with post-traumatic migraines and 17 without. Scientists say Shannon entropy analysis of MRI results performed better than the standard diagnostic in determining which concussion patients developed post-traumatic migraines. For example: Patients with Shannon entropy results below 0.750 were approximately 16 times more likely to have experienced concussion and three times more likely to develop post-traumatic migraines.
Advancing the Treatment of Post Traumatic Migraines from Concussions
Researchers hope that Shannon entropy may provide a convenient, reproducible bio-marker that can be automatically calculated to help triage patients after the initial injury and predict which patients will likely get more severe symptoms, like migraines.
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