Posts Tagged Age

[ARTICLE] Clinical Findings in a Multicenter MRI Study of Mild TBI


Background: Uncertainty continues to surround mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) diagnosis, symptoms, prognosis, and outcome due in part to a lack of objective biomarkers of injury and recovery. As mTBI gains recognition as a serious public health epidemic, there is need to identify risk factors, diagnostic tools, and imaging biomarkers to help guide diagnosis and management.

Methods: One hundred and eleven patients (15–50 years old) were enrolled acutely after mTBI and followed with up to four standardized serial assessments over 3 months. Each encounter included a clinical exam, neuropsychological assessment, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Chi-square and linear mixed models were used to assess changes over time and determine potential biomarkers of mTBI severity and outcome.

Results: The symptoms most frequently endorsed after mTBI were headache (91%), not feeling right (89%), fatigue (86%), and feeling slowed down (84%). Of the 104 mTBI patients with a processed MRI scan, 28 (27%) subjects had white matter changes which were deemed unrelated to age, and 26 of these findings were deemed unrelated to acute trauma. Of the neuropsychological assessments tested, 5- and 6-Digit Backward Recall, the modified Balance Error Scoring System (BESS), and Immediate 5-Word Recall significantly improved longitudinally in mTBI subjects and differentiated between mTBI subjects and controls. Female sex was found to increase symptom severity scores (SSS) at every time point. Age ≥ 25 years was correlated with increased SSS. Subjects aged ≥ 25 also did not improve longitudinally on 5-Digit Backward Recall, Immediate 5-Word Recall, or Single-Leg Stance of the BESS, whereas subjects < 25 years improved significantly. Patients who reported personal history of depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric disorder had higher SSS at each time point.

Conclusions: The results of this study show that 5- and 6-Digit Backward Recall, the modified BESS, and Immediate 5-Word Recall should be considered useful in demonstrating cognitive and vestibular improvement during the mTBI recovery process. Clinicians should take female sex, older age, and history of psychiatric disorder into account when managing mTBI patients. Further study is necessary to determine the true prevalence of white matter changes in people with mTBI.


Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is defined as a traumatically induced physiological disruption of brain function (1). Although mTBI accounts for at least 75% of traumatic brain injuries and imposes an excessive societal burden (23), mTBI diagnosis continues to lack objective clinical and imaging biomarkers. As of now, the best marker for severity and recovery is a subjective assessment of acute symptom burden (4). Uncertainty continues to surround mTBI diagnosis, symptoms, prognosis, and outcome for physicians and patients as reliable biomarkers remain elusive. As injury rates increase and mTBI becomes a serious public health epidemic (5), there is an increasing role for identification of potential imaging biomarkers, specific neuropsychological assessments, and validated risk factors to help guide prognoses and return to play decisions.

Given the current subjective nature of symptom burden assessment, there is a role for neuropsychological assessments in evaluating the cognitive impairment of patients after injury. The sport concussion assessment tool (SCAT) has been demonstrated as an effective tool to differentiate between mTBI subjects and controls in non-athlete populations and is widely used in mTBI studies (68). Tests of memory, balance, and cognition are incorporated into the SCAT (910), but research has not demonstrated their effectiveness as longitudinal assessments (11). Separately, 3-word recall is commonly employed in patients with mTBI to assess memory function (12). This test is usually normal and is probably inadequate for assessing these patients.

The risk factors for mTBI severity are debated in the literature. Demographic factors commonly explored include sex, age, previous concussions, learning disability, psychiatric history, and migraine/headache history (13). Although each of these preinjury characteristics has been studied in numerous protocols, a consensus has not been reached. Further research is needed to establish the risk factors for mTBI severity so that they may be incorporated into clinical care.

Moreover, routine imaging techniques are limited in their value of serving as biomarkers of severity or prognosis in the mTBI population, and the extent of incidental magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in mTBI patients also remains unclear. Conventional structural MR imaging is felt to be limited in its yield of disease severity or prognosis. Further research is necessary to investigate the anatomical characteristics of the mTBI population that present to medical attention. Better characterization of the specific abnormalities in anatomic imaging in this population is necessary.

The aim of this study was to incorporate patient history, clinical exams, imaging, and multiple neurological assessments into a prospective longitudinal study of patients presenting with an acute mild traumatic brain injury to provide guidance for hypothesis generation and future study design of mTBI research. Traditional neuropsychological assessments were developed to further attempt to detect abnormalities in patients with mTBI. Although MR imaging is not routinely performed for acute mTBI, recent advances in MRI based techniques have allowed researchers to incorporate imaging into mTBI trials. This study specifically investigated the presence of white matter hyperintensities on structural imaging. This combination of assessments and time points provided a more comprehensive and detailed assessment of symptoms and outcomes of mTBI patients than found in previous studies. This allows for identification of previously elusive potential risk factors which may influence outcome measures for mTBI populations.[…]


Continue —>  Frontiers | Clinical Findings in a Multicenter MRI Study of Mild TBI | Neurology

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[ARTICLE] Epidemiology of Traumatic Brain Injury in Europe: A Living Systematic Review – Full Text


This systematic review provides a comprehensive, up-to-date summary of traumatic brain injury (TBI) epidemiology in Europe, describing incidence, mortality, age, and sex distribution, plus severity, mechanism of injury, and time trends. PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, and Web of Science were searched in January 2015 for observational, descriptive, English language studies reporting incidence, mortality, or case fatality of TBI in Europe. There were no limitations according to date, age, or TBI severity. Methodological quality was assessed using the Methodological Evaluation of Observational Research checklist. Data were presented narratively. Sixty-six studies were included in the review. Country-level data were provided in 22 studies, regional population or treatment center catchment area data were reported by 44 studies. Crude incidence rates varied widely. For all ages and TBI severities, crude incidence rates ranged from 47.3 per 100,000, to 694 per 100,000 population per year (country-level studies) and 83.3 per 100,000, to 849 per 100,000 population per year (regional-level studies). Crude mortality rates ranged from 9 to 28.10 per 100,000 population per year (country-level studies), and 3.3 to 24.4 per 100,000 population per year (regional-level studies.) The most common mechanisms of injury were traffic accidents and falls. Over time, the contribution of traffic accidents to total TBI events may be reducing. Case ascertainment and definitions of TBI are variable. Improved standardization would enable more accurate comparisons.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is among the most severe types of injury in terms of both case fatality1 and long-term implications for survivors.2 Treatment of TBI can be complex and expensive.3 Upon clinical examination, TBI is most commonly sub-divided into mild, moderate, and severe, according to the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS).4,5 Such categories have been found to be predictive of a patient’s long-term outcome,6 although other measures and models also have been tested.7,8

A previous review of the epidemiology of TBI in Europe concluded that the leading causes of TBI were road traffic collisions, and falls.3 Consequently, in a densely populated and economically advanced area such as the European Union (EU), the potential for prevention of morbidity and mortality is great. The variability in incidence and mechanism of TBI, which may be observed on this mainly contiguous land-mass with a well-developed road network, is also of scientific interest, as it may lead to better prevention of TBI. Countries within the EU adhere to certain multi-national laws and agreements, but nonetheless retain their own law-making and enforcement responsibilities.9 This may add further complexity to the understanding of TBI epidemiology, for example, in the contributions of varying road speed limits or the legal restrictions on the availability of firearms. More generally, the issues relating to the contemporary demographic and lifestyle characteristics of the similar countries or regions suggest that epidemiological trends from EU countries also may be applicable to other high income countries.

Considerable variability has been observed between national rates, largely attributable to significant variability in data collection, case ascertainment, and case definition. This has led to calls for standardized definitions and data collection in population-based studies, and an associated paradigm shift in studying TBI and its impact.10–12

In order to improve the understanding of causes of TBI and the scale of the problem, it is important to analyze the current situation and time trends, using good quality comparable observational studies. One comprehensive systematic review of the epidemiology of TBI in Europe was published nearly ten years ago.3 A recent systematic review,13 published as a follow-up to Tagliaferri (2006),3 addresses similar issues but was more restrictive in dates of publication (1990–2014) and has not been set up as a “living” systematic review (i.e., it is not expected that it will be kept up-to-date as new research is published).13

The overall objective of this systematic review was to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date summary of TBI epidemiology in Europe by reviewing all relevant observational studies. Specific aims were to determine the incidence, mortality, age, and sex distribution of TBI in Europe, along with the severity and mechanism of injury and time trends. […]


Continue —> Epidemiology of Traumatic Brain Injury in Europe: A Living Systematic Review

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[Stroke Rehabilitation Clinician Handbook] 4. Motor Rehabilitation – 4A. Lower Extremity and Mobility – Full Text PDF

4.1 Motor Recovery of the Lower Extremity Post Stroke

Factors that Predict Motor Recovery

Motor deficits post-stroke are the most obvious impairment (Langhorne et al. 2012) and have a disabling impact on valued activities and independence. Motor deficits are defined as “a loss or limitation of function in muscle control or movement or a limitation of movement” (Langhorne et al. 2012; Wade 1992). Given its importance, a large proportion of stroke rehabilitation efforts are directed towards the recovery of movement disorders. Langhorne et al. (2012) notes that motor recovery after stroke is complex with many treatments designed to promote recovery of motor impairment and function.

The two most important factors which predict motor recovery are:

  1. Stroke Severity: The most important predictive factor which reduces the capacity for brain reorganization.
  2. Age: Younger patients demonstrate greater neurological and functional recovery and hence have a better prognosis compared to older stroke patients (Adunsky et al. 1992; Hindfelt & Nilsson 1977; Marini et al. 2001; Nedeltchev et al. 2005).

Changes in walking ability and gait pattern often persist long-term and include increased tone, gait asymmetry, changes in muscle activation and reduced functional abilities (Wooley 2001; Robbins et al. 2006; Pizzi et al. 2007, Pereira et al. 2012). Ambulation post stroke is often less efficient and associated with increased energy expenditure (Pereira et al. 2012). Hemiplegic individuals have been reported to utilize 50-67% more metabolic energy that normal individuals when walking at the same velocity (Wooley et al. 2001).

For mobility outcome, trunk balance is an additional predictor of recovery (Veerbeek et al. 2011). Nonambulant patients who regained sitting balance and some voluntary movement of the hip, knee and/or ankle within the first 72 hours post stroke predicted 98% chance of regaining independent gait within 6 months. In contrast, those who were unable to sit independently for 30 seconds and could not contract the paretic lower limb within the first 72 hours post stroke had a 27% probability of achieving independent gait.

Full Text PDF

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[Abstract] The effects of active video games on patients’ rehabilitative outcomes: A meta-analysis


Findings favored active video games (AVGs) in balance and falls efficacy promotion.
Across all age groups, AVGs were used most often for balance rehabilitation.
AVG-based physical functioning rehabilitation common in middle-aged/older adults
Falls efficacy was the only similar psychological outcome across all ages/studies.
Larger samples/more psychological rehabilitative outcomes needed in future studies.


A meta-analysis on Active Video Games (AVG) as a rehabilitative tool does not appear to be available. This meta-analytic review synthesizes the effectiveness of AVGs on patients’ rehabilitative outcomes. Ninety-eight published studies on AVGs and rehabilitation were obtained in late 2015 with 14 meeting the following inclusion criteria: 1) data-based English articles; 2) randomized-controlled trials investigating AVG’s effect on rehabilitative outcome(s); and 3) ≥ 1 comparison present in each study. Data extraction for comparisons was completed for three age categories: 1) youth/young adults (5–25 years-old); 2) middle-aged adults (40–65 years-old); and 3) older adults (≥ 65 years-old). Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software calculated effect size (ES; Hedge’s g). Comparison group protocols often employed another non-AVG experimental treatment. Control group protocols implemented standard care. AVGs demonstrated a large positive effect on balance control over control among youth/young adults (ES = 0.81, p < 0.01). Further, AVGs resulted in small positive effects on middle-aged adults’ balance control over control (ES = 0.143, p = 0.48) and comparison (ES = 0.14, p = 0.53), with similar results in older adults compared to control (ES = 0.16, p = 0.27). Notably, AVG’s effect on balance control versus comparison among older adults was small yet negative (ES = − 0.12, p = 0.63). AVGs were also used to enhance general physical functioning (GPF) among middle-aged and older adults. Versus control and comparison, AVGs had no effect on middle-aged adults’ GPF (ES = − 0.054 and − 0.046, respectively) or older adults’ GPF (ES = 0.04 and 0.002, respectively). Finally, AVGs had a moderate effect on older adults’ falls efficacy versus control (ES = 0.61, p < 0.05). Findings favor AVGs for youth/young adult balance control rehabilitation and falls efficacy promotion in older adults.

Source: The effects of active video games on patients’ rehabilitative outcomes: A meta-analysis

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