Article

Video analysis of acute motor and convulsive manifestations in sport- related concussion

University of Melbourne, Department of Neurology, Austin & Repatriation Medical Centre, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia.
Neurology (Impact Factor: 8.3). 05/2000; 54(7):1488-91. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.54.7.1488
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To describe the motor and convulsive manifestations in acute sports-related head injury.
A total of 234 cases of concussive injuries during the 1995 through 1997 football seasons were obtained from the Australian Football League Medical Officers Association injury survey. Of these, 102 cases were recorded adequately on television videotape and were analyzed by two independent observers using a standardized recording form detailing injury mechanics and clinical features of the episodes. Motor and convulsive features were correlated with mechanical variables and with duration of loss of consciousness using linear modeling techniques.
Tonic posturing occurred in 25 subjects, clonic movements in 6, righting movement in 40, and gait unsteadiness in 42. In one subject the tonic and clonic features were sufficiently prolonged to be deemed a concussive convulsion. The only risk factor for tonic posturing using logistic regression was the presence of loss of consciousness (p = 0.0001). There was a trend toward facial impact being an independent predictor of tonic posturing but this did not reach significance. No other independent variable predicted the development of clonic movements, righting movements, or gait unsteadiness.
Subtle motor manifestations such as tonic posturing and clonic movements commonly occur in concussion; the main predictive factor for tonic posturing is the presence of loss of consciousness. The authors speculate that these clinical features are due to brainstem dysfunction secondary to biomechanical forces inducing a transient functional decerebration.

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    • "These automated systems can serve as a basis for educational purposes providing valuable information to the user about their motion profiles, how it differs from that of an expert and how to improve the same. Several such systems are available for sports analysis, rehabilitation [1] [2] [3] etc. These systems tend to attribute expertise to control of a few motion parameters in the human body. "
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    • "They interpret their findings as best explained by frontal dysfunction. In a compelling video analysis of concussion in sport-related injury, McCrory and Berkovic (2000) demonstrate subtle motor manifestations associated with concussion that they attribute to basal forebrain, limbic and/or brainstem pathology. These studies of 'minor' injury point to a neuropathologic basis. "
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    ABSTRACT: Les commotions cérébrales subies en contexte sportif constituent un sujet préoccupant. Il est estimé qu’aux États-Unis, environ cinq pourcent de l’ensemble des athlètes subiront une commotion cérébrale. Celle-ci est considérée comme une blessure transitoire dans la majorité des cas. Dans le domaine de la commotion cérébrale sportive, le phénomène de risque accru chez des athlètes ayant subi préalablement des commotions cérébrales est bien documenté. Cet aspect remet en question l’aspect transitoire de la blessure. Les techniques d’imagerie fonctionnelle offrent un grand potentiel dans la compréhension de cette pathologie en montrant notamment les différences fonctionnelles chez des participants ayant subi un traumatisme crânio-cérébral léger en l’absence de résultats comportementaux. Il est probable que des altérations fonctionnelles persistent au-delà de la phase de récupération postsymptômes. L’électrophysiologie, en particulier les potentiels évoqués cognitifs sont un outil de choix pour étudier la question en raison de leur sensibilité et de la mesure fonctionnelle qu’ils permettent d’obtenir. Les potentiels évoqués cognitifs consistent en une réponse électrique cérébrale moyenne générée lors de l’accomplissement d’une tâche. Il est possible d’identifier différentes composantes dans le tracé d’un potentiel évoqué; ces composantes sont associées à différents aspects de l’activité électrique cérébrale durant le traitement perceptuel et cognitif.Les articles scientifiques inclus dans cette thèse se penchent sur les effets de commotions cérébrales multiples chez des athlètes plusieurs mois après la dernière commotion. Dans un premier temps, l’aspect temporel est évalué par le biais de la mesure de la P3a et la P3b dans différents groupes d’athlètes. Ces composantes sont liées aux processus de mémoire et d’attention. Les résultats suggèrent que, malgré un fonctionnement normal, les athlètes ayant subi des commotions cérébrales éprouveraient de probables changements cognitifs sous-cliniques persistants se traduisant par une atténuation des P3a et P3b. Des altérations seraient aussi présentes quelques années après la dernière commotion, mais de façon plus subtile. La deuxième étude soumise s’intéresse aux processus électrophysiologiques liés au maintien de l’information en mémoire de travail visuel chez des athlètes ayant subi plusieurs commotions cérébrales. La mesure utilisée est la SPCN (sustained posterior controlateral negativity), une composante ERP spécifique au processus cognitif étudié. Les résultats montrent non seulement une composante atténuée chez les athlètes ayant subi trois commotions cérébrales ou plus, mais aussi une modulation de la composante en fonction du nombre de commotions cérébrales subies. Ces résultats pourraient contribuer à expliquer le risque accru de subir des commotions cérébrales subséquentes observées chez ces athlètes. En lien avec la littérature, ces données pourraient s’expliquer par la présence de déficits cognitifs sous-cliniques ou encore par la mise en place de mécanismes compensatoires. Enfin, ces résultats invitent à une grande prudence dans la gestion des cas de commotions cérébrales ainsi qu’à un effort d’éducation plus poussé chez les jeunes athlètes afin qu’ils puissent prendre les meilleures décisions concernant leur avenir. Concussions sustained in sporting contexts are a major concern. In United States only, it has been estimated that among all athletes in college teams, 5% will be concussed. According to an agreement following an international symposium on concussion in sport, in most cases, this is a transient injury. Within the field, it is known that the likelihood of sustaining a concussion increased as a function of the number of past concussions. This aspect challenges the transient conception of the injury. Functional imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or eventrelated potentials (ERP) showed functional alterations in absence of any behavioral changes within concussed athlete groups. ERP consist in the averaged cerebral electrical signal recorded on the scalp during a given stimulation or task. Many components may be identified within the signal, each associated to specific perceptual and cognitive functioning. In concussed athletes, it is possible that functional alterations persist well beyond the acute period. ERP have been chosen to study this topic because of their sensitivity. Scientific papers included in this thesis discuss the effects of multiple concussions among young adult athletes months after the last concussion. The first study investigates two groups of athletes with multiple concussions at different time points. P3a and P3b were used as electrophysiological markers. These components are known to be related to attention and memory functions. Results demonstrate that, despite normal neuropsychological evaluation, attenuation is present on both P3. Those changes were still present years after, but in a more subtle manner. The second study describes the effect of multiple concussions on sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN), an ERP component specifically related to information maintenance in visual working memory. Results showed that athletes who sustained three concussions or more display an attenuated SPCN. Also, a modulation of the SPCN as a function of the number of concussions was point out. Overall, these results might help to explain the increased risk of further concussions among concussed athletes. It is possible that results are explained by subclinical cognitive deficits and/or compensatory mechanisms. Finally, such data invites extra precaution in the management of concussions. Also, it seems important to give young athletes plenty of information to allow them to make more enlightened decisions about their future.
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