The latest medical research on Brain Injury Medicine

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about brain injury medicine gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Actual and Imagined Music-Cued Gait Training in People with Multiple Sclerosis: A Double-Blind Randomized Parallel Multicenter Trial.

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

German Clinical Trials Register, DRKS00023978.

To analyze the effects of cued motor imagery (CMI), cued gait training (CGT), and combined CMI and cued gait training (CMI-CGT) on motor, cognitive, and emotional functioning, and health-related quality of life in people with MS.

In this double-blind randomized parallel-group multicenter trial, people with MS were randomized (1:1:1) to CMI, CMI-CGT, or CGT for 30 minutes, 4×/week for 4 weeks. Patients practiced at home, using recorded instructions, and supported by ≥6 phone calls. Data were collected at weeks 0, 4, and 13. Co-primary outcomes were walking speed and distance, analyzed by intention-to-treat. Secondary outcomes were global cognitive impairment, anxiety, depression, suicidality, fatigue, HRQoL, motor imagery ability, music-induced motivation, pleasure and arousal, self-efficacy, and cognitive function. Adverse events and falls were continuously monitored.

Of 1559 screened patients, 132 were randomized: 44 to CMI, 44 to CMI-CGT, and 44 to CGT. None of the interventions demonstrated superiority in influencing walking speed or distance, with negligible effects on walking speed (η2 = 0.019) and distance (η2 = 0.005) observed in the between-group comparison. Improvements in walking speed and walking distance over time corresponded to large effects for CMI, CMI-CGT, and CGT (η2 = 0.348 and η2 = 0.454 respectively). No severe study-related adverse events were reported.

CMI-GT did not lead to improved walking speed and distance compared with CMI and CGT alone in people with MS. Lack of a true control group represents a study limitation.

Cross-Frequency Coupling as a Biomarker for Early Stroke Recovery.

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

The application of neuroimaging-based biomarkers in stroke has enriched our understanding of post-stroke recovery mechanisms, including alterations in functional connectivity based on synchronous oscillatory activity across various cortical regions. Phase-amplitude coupling, a type of cross-frequency coupling, may provide additional mechanistic insight.

To determine how the phase of prefrontal cortex delta (1-3 Hz) oscillatory activity mediates the amplitude of motor cortex beta (13-20 Hz) oscillations in individual's early post-stroke.

Participants admitted to an inpatient rehabilitation facility completed resting and task-based EEG recordings and motor assessments around the time of admission and discharge along with structural neuroimaging. Unimpaired controls completed EEG procedures during a single visit. Mixed-effects linear models were performed to assess within- and between-group differences in delta-beta prefrontomotor coupling. Associations between coupling and motor status and injury were also determined.

Thirty individuals with stroke and 17 unimpaired controls participated. Coupling was greater during task versus rest conditions for all participants. Though coupling during affected extremity task performance decreased during hospitalization, coupling remained elevated at discharge compared to controls. Greater baseline coupling was associated with better motor status at admission and discharge and positively related to motor recovery. Coupling demonstrated both positive and negative associations with injury involving measures of lesion volume and overlap injury to anterior thalamic radiation, respectively.

This work highlights the utility of prefrontomotor cross-frequency coupling as a potential motor status and recovery biomarker in stroke. The frequency- and region-specific neurocircuitry featured in this work may also facilitate novel treatment strategies in stroke.

A Novel Video-Based Methodology for Automated Classification of Dystonia and Choreoathetosis in Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy During a Lower Extremity Task.

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

Movement disorders in children and adolescents with dyskinetic cerebral palsy (CP) are commonly assessed from video recordings, however scoring is time-consuming and expert knowledge is required for an appropriate assessment.

To explore a machine learning approach for automated classification of amplitude and duration of distal leg dystonia and choreoathetosis within short video sequences.

Available videos of a heel-toe tapping task were preprocessed to optimize key point extraction using markerless motion analysis. Postprocessed key point data were passed to a time series classification ensemble algorithm to classify dystonia and choreoathetosis duration and amplitude classes (scores 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4), respectively. As ground truth clinical scoring of dystonia and choreoathetosis by the Dyskinesia Impairment Scale was used. Multiclass performance metrics as well as metrics for summarized scores: absence (score 0) and presence (score 1-4) were determined.

Thirty-three participants were included: 29 with dyskinetic CP and 4 typically developing, age 14 years:6 months ± 5 years:15 months. The multiclass accuracy results for dystonia were 77% for duration and 68% for amplitude; for choreoathetosis 30% for duration and 38% for amplitude. The metrics for score 0 versus score 1 to 4 revealed an accuracy of 81% for dystonia duration, 77% for dystonia amplitude, 53% for choreoathetosis duration and amplitude.

This methodology study yielded encouraging results in distinguishing between presence and absence of dystonia, but not for choreoathetosis. A larger dataset is required for models to accurately represent distinct classes/scores. This study presents a novel methodology of automated assessment of movement disorders solely from video data.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Paired With Upper Extremity Rehabilitation for Chronic Ischemic Stroke: Contribution of Dosage Parameters.

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) combined with rehabilitation is a Food and Drug Administration approved intervention for moderate to severe upper extremity deficits in chronic ischemic stroke patients. Previous studies demonstrated that VNS improves upper extremity motor impairments, using the Fugl Meyer Assessment of Upper Extremity (FMA-UE); however, delineating where these improvements occur, and the role of VNS dosage parameters were not reported.

This study explored the relationship between dosing (time over which task repetitions were executed and number of VNS stimulations) and changes within proximal and distal components of the FMA-UE.

Participants underwent VNS implantation, with 1 group receiving VNS paired with rehabilitation (Active VNS) and the other group receiving rehabilitation with sham stimulation (Controls). Both groups received 6 weeks of in-clinic therapy followed by a 90-day at-home, self-rehabilitation program. Participants who completed at least 12 of 18 in-clinic sessions were included in the analyses (n = l06). Pearson correlations and analysis of covariance were used to investigate the relationship between dosing and FMA-UE outcome change along with the effect of covariates including baseline severity, time since stroke, age, and paretic side.

Compared to Controls, active VNS favorably influenced distal function with sustained improvement after the home program. Significant improvements were observed in only distal components (FMdist) at both post day-1 (1.80 points, 95% Cl [0.85, 2.73], P < .001) and post-day 90 (1.62 points, 95% CI [0.45, 2.80], P < .007).

VNS paired with rehabilitation resulted in significant improvements in wrist and hand impairment compared to Controls, despite similar in-clinic dosing across both groups.NCT03131960.

Predictors of Multidimensional Profiles of Participation After Traumatic Brain Injury: A TBI Model Systems Study.

Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation

To identify personal, clinical, and environmental factors associated with 4 previously identified distinct multidimensional participation profiles of individuals following traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Participants provided responses to personal (eg, demographic), clinical (eg, function), environmental (eg, neighborhood type), and participation measures to create multidimensional participation profiles. Data from measures collected at the time of injury (preinjury questionnaire, injury characteristics) were also included. The primary outcome was assignment to one of 4 multidimensional participation profile groups based on participation frequency, importance, satisfaction, and enfranchisement. The measures used to develop the profiles were: Participation Assessment with Recombined Tools-Objective, Importance, and Satisfaction scores, each across 3 domains (Productivity, Social Relationships, Out and About in the Community) and the Enfranchisement Scale (contributing to one's community, feeling valued by the community, choice and control).

Results of the multinomial regression analysis, with 4 distinct participation profile groups as the outcome, indicated that education, current employment, current illicit drug use, current driving status, community type, and Functional Independence Measure Cognitive at follow-up significantly distinguished participation profile groups. Findings suggest a trend toward differences in participation profile groups by race/Hispanic ethnicity.

Understanding personal, clinical, and environmental factors associated with distinct participation outcome profiles following TBI may provide more personalized and nuanced guidance to inform rehabilitation intervention planning and/or ongoing clinical monitoring.

Research Letter: Relationship of Blood Biomarkers of Inflammation With Acute Concussion Symptoms and Recovery in the CARE Consortium.

Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation

Determine the association of inflammatory biomarkers with clinical measures and recovery in participants with concussion.

Clinical visits and blood draws were completed preinjury and at multiple visits postconcussion (0-12 hours, 12-36 hours, and 36-60 hours postinjury). Clinical measures included Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) symptom severity, Balance Error Scoring System, Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC), Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18) scores, time to initiation of graduated return-to-play (RTP) protocol, and time to RTP. Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, IL-8, IL-1 receptor antagonist (RA), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), c-reactive protein, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were measured in serum. Prespecified analyses focused on IL-6 and IL-1RA at 0 to 12 hours; exploratory analyses were conducted with false discovery rate correction.

For prespecified analyses, IL-1RA at 0 to 12 hours in female participants was positively associated with more errors on the SAC (B(standard error, SE) = 0.58(0.27), P < .05) and worse SCAT symptom severity (B(SE) = 0.96(0.44), P < .05). For exploratory analyses, higher levels of IL-1RA at 12 to 36 hours were associated with higher global (B(SE) = 0.55(0.14), q < 0.01), depression (B(SE) = 0.45(0.10), q < 0.005), and somatization scores on the BSI (B(SE) = 0.46(0.12), q < 0.01) in participants with concussion; Higher TNF at 12 to 36 hours was associated with fewer errors on the SAC (B(SE) = - 0.46(0.14), q < 0.05). Subanalyses showed similar results for male participants and participants who were athletes. No associations were discovered in nonathlete cadets. Higher IL-8 at 0 to 12 hours was associated with slower RTP in female participants (OR = 14.47; 95% confidence interval, 2.96-70.66, q < 0.05); no other associations with recovery were observed.

Peripheral inflammatory markers are associated with clinical symptoms following concussion and potentially represent one mechanism for psychological symptoms observed postinjury. Current results do not provide strong support for a potential prognostic role for these markers.

Psychiatric Disorders Are Common Among Older US Veterans Prior to Traumatic Brain Injury.

Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation

To estimate the impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and alcohol and substance use disorders.

PTSD, depression, and alcohol and substance use disorders were identified using diagnostic codes. Participants were censored after the first diagnosis during the year before and the year after the TBI or matched date. Prevalence rates of PTSD, depression, alcohol, and substance use disorders were compared before and after incident TBI or matched date using Poisson regression.

Pre-TBI prevalence rates of disorders were higher among those with TBI relative to those without TBI. Pre-TBI PTSD prevalence rates (per 1000 person-years) were 126.3 (95% CI, 120.2-132.4) compared to 21.5 (95% CI, 20.1-22.9) in the non-TBI cohort. In adjusted models, TBI was not associated with an increase in the prevalence of any of the studied disorders.

Prevalence rates of depression, PTSD, and alcohol and substance use disorders were 5 to 10 times higher among older veterans before incident TBI. We did not observe an increase in the prevalence of these disorders after incident TBI. Older veterans with these disorders may be at increased risk for TBI.

Evaluation and Pharmacologic Management of Paroxysmal Sympathetic Hyperactivity in Traumatic Brain Injury.

Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation

Paroxysmal sympathetic hyperactivity (PSH) can occur in up to 10% of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients and is associated with poorer outcomes. A consensus regarding management is lacking. We provide a practical guide on the multi-faceted clinical management of PSH, including pharmacological, procedural and non-pharmacological interventions. In addition to utilizing a standardized assessment tool, the use of medications to manage sympathetic and musculoskeletal manifestations (including pain) is highlighted. Recent studies investigating new approaches to clinical management are included in this review of pharmacologic treatment options.

While studies regarding pharmacologic selection for PSH are limited, this paper suggests a clinical approach to interventions based on predominant symptom presentation (sympathetic hyperactivity, pain and/or muscle hypertonicity) and relevant medication side effects.

Mood Tracker: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Self-Monitoring Intervention for Emotional Distress After Traumatic Brain Injury.

Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation

Persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI) frequently experience emotional distress (ED) manifested in anxiety and depression. However, they may not access mental health services due to external (eg, access, transportation, and cost) or internal (eg, stigma and discomfort with traditional counseling) barriers. Based on substantial literature indicating that self-monitoring can ameliorate several health conditions, we conducted a randomized, parallel group, wait-list control (WLC) trial of a self-monitoring intervention to decrease ED after TBI.

ED (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7), Satisfaction with Life Scale, and Participation Assessment with Recombined Tools-Objective.

Analysis of the primary study outcome at 6 weeks after initiation of treatment for the AT group did not demonstrate that self-monitoring was effective in decreasing ED as compared to the WLC group. Brief support calls made weekly to promote compliance with self-monitoring were effective in achieving the target number of self-assessments. About 80% of support calls lasted less than 5 minutes. Greater ED was associated with lower life satisfaction and lower participation indicating the importance of addressing ED in persons with TBI.

Additional work is needed to develop nontraditional interventions to circumvent barriers that prevent persons with TBI from accessing care for ED. Brief support calls may be an effective, low-cost intervention to improve compliance with self-monitoring or self-management interventions.

Speed- and Endurance-Based Classifications of Community Ambulation Post-Stroke Revisited: The Importance of Location in Walking Performance Measurement.

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

Gait speed or 6-minute walk test are frequently used to project community ambulation abilities post-stroke by categorizing individuals as household ambulators, limited, or unlimited community ambulators. However, whether improved clinically-assessed gait outcomes truly translate into enhanced real-world community ambulation remains uncertain.

This cross-sectional study aimed to examine differences in home and community ambulation between established categories of speed- and endurance-based classification systems of community ambulation post-stroke and compare these with healthy controls.

Sixty stroke survivors and 18 healthy controls participated. Stroke survivors were categorized into low-speed, medium-speed, or high-speed groups based on speed-based classifications and into low-endurance, medium-endurance, or high-endurance groups based on the endurance-based classification. Home and community steps/day were quantified using Global Positioning System and accelerometer devices over 7 days.

The low-speed groups exhibited fewer home and community steps/day than their medium- and high-speed counterparts (P < .05). The low-endurance group took fewer community steps/day than the high-endurance group (P < .05). Despite vast differences in clinical measures of gait speed and endurance, the medium-speed/endurance groups did not differ in their home and community steps/day from the high-speed/endurance groups, respectively. Stroke survivors took 48% fewer home steps/day and 77% fewer community steps/day than healthy controls.

Clinical classification systems may only distinguish home ambulators from community ambulators, but not between levels of community ambulation, especially beyond certain thresholds of gait speed and endurance. Clinicians should use caution when predicting community ambulation status through clinical measures, due to the limited translation of these classification systems into the real world.

Task-Oriented Training by a Personalized Electromyography-Driven Soft Robotic Hand in Chronic Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

Intensive task-oriented training has shown promise in enhancing distal motor function among patients with chronic stroke. A personalized electromyography (EMG)-driven soft robotic hand was developed to assist task-oriented object-manipulation training effectively. Objective. To compare the effectiveness of task-oriented training using the EMG-driven soft robotic hand.

A single-blinded, randomized controlled trial was conducted with 34 chronic stroke survivors. The subjects were randomly assigned to the Hand Task (HT) group (n = 17) or the control (CON) group (n = 17). The HT group received 45 minutes of task-oriented training by manipulating small objects with the robotic hand for 20 sessions, while the CON group received 45 minutes of hand-functional exercises without objects using the same robot. Fugl-Meyer assessment (FMA-UE), Action Research Arm Test (ARAT), Modified Ashworth Score (MAS), Box and Block test (BBT), Maximum Grip Strength, and active range of motion (AROM) of fingers were assessed at baseline, after intervention, and 3 months follow-up. The muscle co-contraction index (CI) was analyzed to evaluate the session-by-session variation of upper limb EMG patterns.

The HT group showed more significant improvement in FMA-UE (wrist/hand, shoulder/elbow) compared to the CON group (P < .05). At 3-month follow-up, the HT group demonstrated significant improvements in FMA-UE, ARAT, BBT, MAS (finger), and AROMs (P < .05). The HT group exhibited a more significant decrease in muscle co-contractions compared to the CON group (P < .05).

EMG-driven task-oriented training with the personalized soft robotic hand was a practical approach to improving motor function and muscle coordination.

Soft Robotic Hand System for Stroke Rehabilitation.


RTMS of the Cerebellum Using an Accelerated Stimulation Protocol Improved Gait in Parkinson's Disease.

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a nonpharmacological and noninvasive brain stimulation technique that has been proven to be effective in Parkinson's disease (PD). The combination of rTMS and treadmill training improved gait function in PD greater than treadmill training alone.

The aim of our study was to evaluate the combination of a novel high-intensity, short intervention rTMS treatment and a multimodal treatment protocol including of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and language therapy, the so-called Parkinson's Disease Multimodal Complex Treatment (PD-MCT), to improve motor function.

In this randomized double-blind sham-controlled trial rTMS with 48 Hz or sham was applied over the cerebellum 3 times a day for 5 consecutive days. Patients were assessed at baseline (V0), after 5 days of treatment (V1), and 4 weeks later (V2). The primary clinical outcome measure was the motor sum-score of the Unified PD Rating Scale (UPDRSIII), secondary clinical outcomes were quantitative motor tasks.

A total of 36 PD patients were randomly allocated either to rTMS (n = 20) or sham (n = 16), both combined with PD-MCT. rTMS improved the UDPRSIII score comparing baseline and V1 in the treatment group by -8.2 points (P = .004). The 8MW and dynamic posturography remained unchanged in both groups after intervention. Conclusion. Compressing weeks of canonical rTMS protocols into 5 days was effective and well tolerated. rTMS may serve as an add-on therapy for augmenting the multimodal complex treatment of motor symptoms, but seems to be ineffective to treat postural instability.