Fall 2014 Seminars

September 18, 2014

Dawn Elliott

Dr. Susan Margulies

Susan Marguiles, Ph.D.
George H. Stephenson Term Professor
University of Pennsylvania

Seminar Title: “Understanding why head rotation direction matters”

Seminar Abstract: Previously we reported that traumatic axonal injury and neurofunctional outcomes after rapid head rotations are influenced by head rotation direction. We hypothesized that injury is closely correlated with white matter tract deformation, and that these deformations vary with head rotation direction.  We used our animal studies to identify relationships between rapid head rotation direction and velocity and regional axonal pathology, diffusion tensor images to define white matter tract orientation, and computational simulations validated with actual brain tissue displacement in physical model studies, and found that white matter tract-oriented strains and strain rates vary with head rotation direction, and are strongly correlated with traumatic axonal injury.  Thresholds for the infant and pre-adolecent differ.  These results have implications for traumatic brain injury risk in sports, automotive, and household environments.