Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

mild traumatic brain injury Related Abstracts

3 Comparison of Shell-Facemask Responses in American Football Helmets during NOCSAE Drop Tests

Authors: G. Alston Rush, Gus A. Rush III, M. F. Horstemeyer


This study compares the shell-facemask responses of four commonly used American football helmets, under the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) drop impact test method, to show that the test standard would more accurately simulate in-use conditions by modification to include the facemask. In our study, the need for a more vigorous systematic approach to football helmet testing procedures is emphasized by comparing the Head Injury Criterion (HIC), the Gadd Severity Index (SI), and peak acceleration values for different helmets at different locations on the helmet under modified NOCSAE standard drop tower tests. Drop tests were performed on the Rawlings Quantum Plus, Riddell 360, Schutt Ion 4D, and Xenith X2 helmets at eight impact locations, impact velocities of 5.46 and 4.88 meters per second, and helmet configurations with and without facemasks. Analysis of NOCSAE drop test results reveal significant differences (p < 0.05) for when the facemasks were attached to helmets, as compared to the NOCSAE Standard, without facemask configuration. The boundary conditions of the facemask attachment can have up to a 50% decrease (p < 0.001) in helmet performance with respect to peak acceleration. While generally, all helmets with the facemasks gave greater HIC, SI, and acceleration values than helmets without the facemasks, significant helmet dependent variations were observed across impact locations and impact velocities. The variations between helmet responses could be attributed to the unique design features of each helmet tested, which include different liners, chin strap attachments, and faceguard attachment systems. In summary, these comparative drop test results revealed that the current NOCSAE standard test methods need improvement by attaching the facemasks to helmets during testing. The modified NOCSAE football helmet standard test gives a more accurate representation of a helmet’s performance and its ability to mitigate the on-field impact.

Keywords: football helmet testing, gadd severity index, head injury criterion, mild traumatic brain injury

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2 Elevated Systemic Oxidative-Nitrosative Stress and Cerebrovascular Function in Professional Rugby Union Players: The Link to Impaired Cognition

Authors: Tom S. Owens, Tom A. Calverley, Benjamin S. Stacey, Christopher J. Marley, George Rose, Lewis Fall, Gareth L. Jones, Priscilla Williams, John P. R. Williams, Martin Steggall, Damian M. Bailey


Introduction and aims: Sports-related concussion (SRC) represents a significant and growing public health concern in rugby union, yet remains one of the least understood injuries facing the health community today. Alongside increasing SRC incidence rates, there is concern that prior recurrent concussion may contribute to long-term neurologic sequelae in later-life. This may be due to an accelerated decline in cerebral perfusion, a major risk factor for neurocognitive decline and neurodegeneration, though the underlying mechanisms remain to be established. The present study hypothesised that recurrent concussion in current professional rugby union players would result in elevated systemic oxidative-nitrosative stress, reflected by a free radical-mediated reduction in nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability and impaired cerebrovascular and cognitive function. Methodology: A longitudinal study design was adopted across the 2017-2018 rugby union season. Ethical approval was obtained from the University of South Wales Ethics Committee. Data collection is ongoing, and therefore the current report documents result from the pre-season and first half of the in-season data collection. Participants were initially divided into two subgroups; 23 professional rugby union players (aged 26 ± 5 years) and 22 non-concussed controls (27 ± 8 years). Pre-season measurements were performed for cerebrovascular function (Doppler ultrasound of middle cerebral artery velocity (MCAv) in response to hypocapnia/normocapnia/hypercapnia), cephalic venous concentrations of the ascorbate radical (A•-, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy), NO (ozone-based chemiluminescence) and cognition (neuropsychometric tests). Notational analysis was performed to assess contact in the rugby group throughout each competitive game. Results: 1001 tackles and 62 injuries, including three concussions were observed across the first half of the season. However, no associations were apparent between number of tackles and any injury type (P > 0.05). The rugby group expressed greater oxidative stress as indicated by increased A•- (P < 0.05 vs. control) and a subsequent decrease in NO bioavailability (P < 0.05 vs. control). The rugby group performed worse in the Ray Auditory Verbal Learning Test B (RAVLT-B, learning, and memory) and the Grooved Pegboard test using both the dominant and non-dominant hands (visuomotor coordination, P < 0.05 vs. control). There were no between-group differences in cerebral perfusion at baseline (MCAv: 54 ± 13 vs. 59 ± 12, P > 0.05). Likewise, no between-group differences in CVRCO2Hypo (2.58 ± 1.01 vs. 2.58 ± 0.75, P > 0.05) or CVRCO2Hyper (2.69 ± 1.07 vs. 3.35 ± 1.28, P > 0.05) were observed. Conclusion: The present study identified that the rugby union players are characterized by impaired cognitive function subsequent to elevated systemic-oxidative-nitrosative stress. However, this appears to be independent of any functional impairment in cerebrovascular function. Given the potential long-term trajectory towards accelerated cognitive decline in populations exposed to SRC, prophylaxis to increase NO bioavailability warrants consideration.

Keywords: Cognition, Concussion, Rugby, mild traumatic brain injury

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1 Chronic Cognitive Impacts of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury during Aging

Authors: Camille Charlebois-Plante, Marie-Ève Bourassa, Gaelle Dumel, Meriem Sabir, Louis De Beaumont


To the extent of our knowledge, there has been little interest in the chronic effects of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) on cognition during normal aging. This is rather surprising considering the impacts on daily and social functioning. In addition, sustaining a mTBI during late adulthood may increase the effect of normal biological aging in individuals who consider themselves normal and healthy. The objective of this study was to characterize the persistent neuropsychological repercussions of mTBI sustained during late adulthood, on average 12 months prior to testing. To this end, 35 mTBI patients and 42 controls between the ages of 50 and 69 completed an exhaustive neuropsychological assessment lasting three hours. All mTBI patients were asymptomatic and all participants had a score ≥ 27 at the MoCA. The evaluation consisted of 20 standardized neuropsychological tests measuring memory, attention, executive and language functions, as well as information processing speed. Performance on tests of visual (Brief Visuospatial Memory Test Revised) and verbal memory (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test and WMS-IV Logical Memory subtest), lexical access (Boston Naming Test) and response inhibition (Stroop) revealed to be significantly lower in the mTBI group. These findings suggest that a mTBI sustained during late adulthood induces lasting effects on cognitive function. Episodic memory and executive functions seem to be particularly vulnerable to enduring mTBI effects.

Keywords: Neuropsychology, Cognitive Function, mild traumatic brain injury, late adulthood

Procedia PDF Downloads 33