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Blaine Hoshizaki, Michael Vassilyadi, Andrew Post and Anna Oeur

Object

The purpose of this study was to evaluate how currently used helmets would perform for winter play activities, such as tobogganing. In Canada and northern parts of the US, the advent of winter is followed by an increase in visits to hospital emergency departments by young children presenting with head injuries resulting from winter activities. Sliding, skating, skiing, and snowboarding all involve risks of head injury from situations such as falling on ice or sliding into stationary objects. This study compared the protective characteristics of helmets used by young children (< 7 years of age) participating in winter recreational activities.

Methods

Ice hockey, alpine ski, and bicycling helmets were impacted at 2.0, 4.0, 6.0, and 8.0 m/second at the front and side impact location by using a monorail drop rig.

Results

The results for the front impact showed that the ice hockey helmet protected the child significantly better at 2 and 4 m/second when considering both linear and angular peak acceleration. The bicycle helmet performed significantly better than the other 2 helmets at 8 m/second for the front location and only angularly for the side impacts.

Conclusions

Depending on the impact velocity of the hazard, the type of helmet significantly affected the risk of brain injury.

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Andrew Post, T. Blaine Hoshizaki, Michael D. Gilchrist, David Koncan, Lauren Dawson, Wesley Chen, Andrée-Anne Ledoux, Roger Zemek and The Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC) 5P Concussion Team

OBJECTIVE

Concussion is a common topic of research as a result of the short- and long-term effects it can have on the affected individual. Of particular interest is whether previous concussions can lead to a biomechanical susceptibility, or vulnerability, to incurring further head injuries, particularly for youth populations. The purpose of this research was to compare the impact biomechanics of a concussive event in terms of acceleration and brain strains of 2 groups of youths: those who had incurred a previous concussion and those who had not. It was hypothesized that the youths with a history of concussion would have lower-magnitude biomechanical impact measures than those who had never suffered a previous concussion.

METHODS

Youths who had suffered a concussion were recruited from emergency departments across Canada. This pool of patients was then separated into 2 categories based on their history of concussion: those who had incurred 1 or more previous concussions, and those who had never suffered a concussion. The impact event that resulted in the brain injury was reconstructed biomechanically using computational, physical, and finite element modeling techniques. The output of the events was measured in biomechanical parameters such as energy, force, acceleration, and brain tissue strain to determine if those patients who had a previous concussion sustained a brain injury at lower magnitudes than those who had no previously reported concussion.

RESULTS

The results demonstrated that there was no biomechanical variable that could distinguish between the concussion groups with a history of concussion versus no history of concussion.

CONCLUSIONS

The results suggest that there is no measureable biomechanical vulnerability to head impact related to a history of concussions in this youth population. This may be a reflection of the long time between the previous concussion and the one reconstructed in the laboratory, where such a long period has been associated with recovery from injury.

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Andrew Post, T. Blaine Hoshizaki, Roger Zemek, Michael D. Gilchrist, David Koncan, Lauren Dawson, Wesley Chen, Andrée-Anne Ledoux and the Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC) 5P Concussion Team

OBJECTIVE

Currently, little is known about the biomechanics of head impact for concussion in youths (ages 5 to 18 years). Even less is known about the biomechanical characteristics and variables related to head impacts that may be useful in differentiating between transient and persistent postconcussion symptoms in a youth population. The purpose of this research was to examine the differences in biomechanics of youth head impact for transient postconcussion symptoms (TPCSs) and persistent postconcussion symptoms (PPCSs) by using data from a hospital population.

METHODS

In a laboratory setting and using physical, computational, and finite element models, the authors reconstructed falling events in a large cohort of patients who had sustained a brain injury that resulted in transient or persistent postconcussion symptoms. The falling events and resulting concussions for the TPCS and PPCS patient groups were analyzed in terms of force, energy, peak resultant linear and rotational accelerations, and maximum principal strain in the gray and white matter of the brain, as well as measurements of cumulative strain damage.

RESULTS

The results indicated that there were no significant differences between the groups for any of the variables analyzed.

CONCLUSIONS

With methods derived for use in an adult population, the magnitudes of peak linear acceleration for the youth data set were determined to be above the 50% risk of injury. The youth data set showed higher brain tissue strain responses for lower energy and impact velocities than measured in adults, suggesting that youths are at higher risk of concussive injury at lower event severities. A trend shown by some variables indicated that larger magnitudes of response were associated with PPCSs, but no single measurement variable consistently differentiated between the TPCS and PPCS groups. It is possible that using the biomechanics of head and brain responses to predict a subjective symptom load may not be appropriate. To enhance future biomechanical analyses, further investigations should include the use of quantifiable measures of brain injury linked to clinical outcomes and possible confounding factors such as history of brain injury and patient predisposition.

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R. Anna Oeur, Clara Karton, Andrew Post, Philippe Rousseau, T. Blaine Hoshizaki, Shawn Marshall, Susan E. Brien, Aynsley Smith, Michael D. Cusimano and Michael D. Gilchrist

OBJECT

Concussions typically resolve within several days, but in a few cases the symptoms last for a month or longer and are termed persistent postconcussive symptoms (PPCS). These persisting symptoms may also be associated with more serious brain trauma similar to subdural hematoma (SDH). The objective of this study was to investigate the head dynamic and brain tissue responses of injury reconstructions resulting in concussion, PPCS, and SDH.

METHODS

Reconstruction cases were obtained from sports medicine clinics and hospitals. All subjects received a direct blow to the head resulting in symptoms. Those symptoms that resolved in 9 days or fewer were defined as concussions (n = 3). Those with symptoms lasting longer than 18 months were defined as PPCS (n = 3), and 3 patients presented with SDHs (n = 3). A Hybrid III headform was used in reconstruction to obtain linear and rotational accelerations of the head. These dynamic response data were then input into the University College Dublin Brain Trauma Model to calculate maximum principal strain and von Mises stress. A Kruskal-Wallis test followed by Tukey post hoc tests were used to compare head dynamic and brain tissue responses between injury groups. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.

RESULTS

A significant difference was identified for peak resultant linear and rotational acceleration between injury groups. Post hoc analyses revealed the SDH group had higher linear and rotational acceleration responses (316 g and 23,181 rad/sec2, respectively) than the concussion group (149 g and 8111 rad/sec2, respectively; p < 0.05). No significant differences were found between groups for either brain tissue measures of maximum principal strain or von Mises stress.

CONCLUSIONS

The reconstruction of accidents resulting in a concussion with transient symptoms (low severity) and SDHs revealed a positive relationship between an increase in head dynamic response and the risk for more serious brain injury. This type of relationship was not found for brain tissue stress and strain results derived by finite element analysis. Future research should be undertaken using a larger sample size to confirm these initial findings. Understanding the relationship between the head dynamic and brain tissue response and the nature of the injury provides important information for developing strategies for injury prevention.

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Andrew Post, T. Blaine Hoshizaki, Michael D. Gilchrist, Susan Brien, Michael D. Cusimano and Shawn Marshall

Object

The purpose of this study was to examine how the dynamic response and brain deformation of the head and brain—representing a series of injury reconstructions of which subdural hematoma (SDH) was the outcome—influence the location of the lesion in the lobes of the brain.

Methods

Sixteen cases of falls in which SDH was the outcome were reconstructed using a monorail drop rig and Hybrid III headform. The location of the SDH in 1 of the 4 lobes of the brain (frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital) was confirmed by CT/MR scan examined by a neurosurgeon.

Results

The results indicated that there were minimal differences between locations of the SDH for linear acceleration. The peak resultant rotational acceleration and x-axis component were larger for the parietal lobe than for other lobes. There were also some differences between the parietal lobe and the other lobes in the z-axis component. Maximum principal strain, von Mises stress, shear strain, and product of strain and strain rate all had differences in magnitude depending on the lobe in which SDH was present. The parietal lobe consistently had the largest-magnitude response, followed by the frontal lobe and the occipital lobe.

Conclusions

The results indicated that there are differences in magnitude for rotational acceleration and brain deformation metrics that may identify the location of SDH in the brain.

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010