Eye Tracking: Objective Assessment for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Youth Athletes (2021-2022)

Brain injury is so common in children that it is currently the leading source of injury and death. Sports-related concussions in children and adolescents (5-18 years) account for up to 60 percent of all pediatric concussions.

Although mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is an important public health issue for both the general pediatric population and youth athletes, there are still many challenges in obtaining objective diagnoses of mTBI or quantifying the physiological implications of cumulative subconcussive (low-level) insults.

This project team assessed how head impact exposure may contribute to observable deficits in oculomotor response that can be tracked and used for diagnostic purposes. Team members assessed local youth athletes with an oculomotor assessment routine that includes reflexive (pro-saccades), anti-saccades and memory-guided saccades, and compare these data to in-season documentation of concussions and levels of impact/practice exposure.

Quantification of head impact exposure experienced by participants required the use of questionnaires and an earpiece sensor (DASHR) developed at Duke. The sample population included youth athletes from five years of age to the high school level.

This was the seventh year of an ongoing longitudinal study. On a yearly basis, the team has seen a relatively low number of concussions within its study. However, tracking and combining data on concussed individuals over multiple years will strengthen the team’s ability to ascertain differences between concussed and nonconcussed populations across multiple ages and levels of play.

Learn more about this project team by viewing the team's video.

Timing

Summer 2021 –  Spring 2022 

Reflections

Kishen Mitra

Team Outputs

Research posters and conference presentations

This Team in the News

Senior Spotlight: Reflections from the Class of 2023

The Test and the Tackle: A New Way to Measure Head Injury in Youth Football

Meet the Members of the 2023-2024 Student Advisory Council

See related teams, Eye Tracking: Objective Assessment for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Youth Athletes (2022-2023) and Eye Tracking: Objective Assessment for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Youth Athletes (2020-2021).

 

Image: Youth Football Poquoson Bulls Williamsburg Green Hornets PYFCO Mites Juniors Peninsula Virginia Va., by C Watts, licensed under CC BY 2.0

 Youth Football Poquoson Bulls Williamsburg Green Hornets PYFCO Mites Juniors Peninsula Virginia Va.

Team Leaders

  • Cameron Bass, Pratt School of Engineering-Biomedical Engineering
  • Bruce Capehart, Durham VA Medical Center
  • Jason Luck, Pratt School of Engineering-Biomedical Engineering
  • Adam Mehlenbacher, School of Medicine-Head and Neck Surgery and Communication Sciences

/graduate Team Members

  • Patrick Liu, Master of Egr Elec & Cmptr Egr

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Erin Biddiscombe, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Megan Christy, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Alec Deakin, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Martha Deja, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Rose DiPietro, Computer Science (BS)
  • Evan Glas, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)
  • Carson Herman, Biology (BS)
  • Caroline Howley, Economics (BS)
  • Ruth Jones, Psychology (BS)
  • David Kong, Biology (BS)
  • Kristy Lieu, Neuroscience (AB)
  • Mayari Merchant, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)
  • Kishen Mitra, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Melanie Pearce, Biology (BS)
  • Michelle Tetro, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Arthi Vaidyanathan, Biology (BS)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Jennifer Groh, Arts & Sciences-Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Jason Kait, Pratt School of Engineering-Biomedical Engineering

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Cardinal Gibbons High School
  • Durham Eagles Pop Warner Youth Football
  • Raleigh Revolution Middle School Youth Football