Oculomotor Response as an Objective Assessment for Mild TBI in the Pediatric Population (2018-2019)

In children, brain injury is complex and common, and currently it is a leading source of injury and death. Sports-related concussions in children and adolescents (5-18 years) account for 30-60% of all pediatric concussions. Though mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is an important public health issue for both the general pediatric population and youth athletes, challenges exist in obtaining objective diagnoses of mTBI or quantifying the physiological implications of cumulative subconcussive (low-level) insults.

This multiyear Bass Connections project is assessing youth athletes with an oculomotor assessment routine that includes reflexive (pro-saccades), anti-saccades and memory-guided saccades, and comparing these data to in-season documentation of concussion and level of impact/practice exposure. The sample population includes youth athletes from five years of age to the high school level.

In 2018-19, the team successfully completed a fourth year of data acquisition in the study’s high school through youth football league cohorts. Completion of this fourth year provides longitudinal data for a subset of the study population that participated in years one, two and/or three. Therefore, there are now longitudinal data on high school participants over their entire playing career. Data acquisition within these cohorts include eye tracking assessments, neurocognitive testing, symptom scoring, anthropometric measurements and acquisition of head impact exposure data through the use of the Duke DASHR (earpiece sensor) and/or weekly athletic activity reporting.  Additionally, the team continued developing a fully portable eye tracking system. 

Timing

Spring 2018 – Spring 2019  

Team Outputs

Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC) Score Stability: Comparing across a High School Football Season – A Pilot Study (poster by Alexandra F. Putka, Varun Nukala, Wesley J. Pritzlaff, Beau M. Blass, Mitchell Z. Abrams, Mihir Paithane, Connor Hile, Edward Hsieh, Katya Khlystova, Cameron R. Bass, Jason F. Luck, presented at Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 17, 2019, and at Triangle Society for Neuroscience Spring Meeting, Cary, NC, April 4, 2019)

Eye-tracking and Subconcussive Loading: Changes in Objective Oculomotor Task Metrics Following Head Impact Exposure in a High School Football Season – A Pilot Study (poster by Wesley J. Pritzlaff, Beau M. Blass, Mitchell Z. Abrams, Mihir Paithane, Connor Hile, Edward Hsieh, Katya Khlystova, Adam Mehlenbacher, Bruce Capehart, Cameron R. Bass, Jason F. Luck, presented at Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 17, 2019, and at Triangle Society for Neuroscience Spring Meeting, Cary, NC, April 4, 2019)

Quantifying Head Impact Exposure in High School Football Using a Novel Weekly Athletic Exposure Form – A Pilot Study (poster by Beau M. Blass, Varun Nukala, Wesley J. Pritzlaff, Alexandra F. Putka, Lydia R. Smeltz, Joyce Zhou, Cameron R. “Dale” Bass, Jason F. Luck, presented at Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 17, 2019, and at Triangle Society for Neuroscience Spring Meeting, Cary, NC, April 4, 2019)

Measuring Head Impact Exposure with In-Ear Sensing Devices and Development of Tools for Data Analysis – A Pilot Study  (poster by Patrick Liu, Mitchell Z. Abrams, Kyle A. Matthews, BSE, Adam Mehlenbacher, Jason Kait, Cameron R. “Dale” Bass, Jason F. Luck, presented at Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 17, 2019)

This Team in the News

Duke Institute for Brain Sciences Annual Report 2018-2019

See related teams, Oculomotor Response as an Objective Assessment for Mild TBI in the Pediatric Population (2019-2020) and Oculomotor Response as an Objective Assessment for Mild TBI in the Pediatric Population (2017-2018).

Youth athlete wearing helmet

Team Leaders

  • Cameron Bass, Pratt School of Engineering-Biomedical Engineering
  • Bruce Capehart, School of Medicine-Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Jennifer Groh, Arts & Sciences-Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Jason Luck, Pratt School of Engineering-Biomedical Engineering
  • Adam Mehlenbacher, School of Medicine-Surgery: Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
  • Carrie Muh, School of Medicine-Neurosurgery

/graduate Team Members

  • Joost Op 't Eynde, Biomedical Engineering-MS

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Mitchell Abrams, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Beau Blass, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Ekaterina Khlystova, Chemistry (BS), Linguistics (AB2)
  • Patrick Liu, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE), Computer Science (BSE2)
  • Varun Nukala, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Wesley Pritzlaff, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Alexandra Putka, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Lydia Smeltz, Chemistry (AB)
  • Joyce Zhou, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE), Computer Science (AB2)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Connor Hile, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
  • 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