Mayo Clinic Looking into Autonomic Response to Concussion

1 Apr

Neurologists at Mayo Clinic in Arizona have taken a promising step toward identifying a test that helps support the diagnosis of concussion. Their research has shown that autonomic reflex testing, which measures involuntary changes in heart rate and blood pressure, consistently appear to demonstrate significant changes in those with concussion.

Appearing on their website, the information researchers are delving into is a new angle on  concussions.  It is widely known that traumatic brain injured (TBI) patients have autonomic system (ANS) deficits/abnormalities.  However the group from Arizona thought an investigation into concussed patients was worth the effort.  Low and behold their findings are a promising first step in possible assessment and management of the concussion.

One interesting note, was this notion on dizziness;

“Contrary to popular belief, the symptoms of ‘dizziness’ that patients feel just after a concussion may, in some cases, be symptoms of autonomic system impairment rather than a vestibular or inner ear disturbance,” says Bert Vargas, M.D., a Mayo neurologist.

No one is telling you to take blood pressures with assessment (ergo baselines), yet, but with this information could come not only objective testing but biomarkers associated with ANS changes;

“This study shows a possible electrophysiological biomarker that indicates that a concussion has occurred — we are hopeful that with more research this will be confirmed and that this may also be a biomarker for recovery,” he says.

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7 Responses to “Mayo Clinic Looking into Autonomic Response to Concussion”

  1. when I suffered a concussion / brain injury via being rear-ended by an auto….

    my blood pressure, that is typically around 115/70, top number was 150 + at the scene of the accident… (don’t recall the bottom number)

  2. joe bloggs April 1, 2013 at 19:20 #

    It is confirmation of John Leddy, MD and his team at the University of Buffalo. He had been testing interventions for some time. He is running a trial on retired professional hockey and football players.

    His team had some interesting results in small studies. One of his most interesting findings had been that numerous subjects with PCS have undiagnosed neck injuries comorbidly or the mistaken for PCS.

    Good stuff.

  3. Ryan April 10, 2013 at 11:24 #

    I wish this research had been done 15 years ago, so that I would have known how many of my dozens of “bell rung” incidents in sports were actually, bonafide concussions.

    • Ryan,

      Many individuals remain unaware that comprehensive info re the significance of concussions / brain injuries has existed for an extensive period of time…and were written during various times in the 1900′s.

      May I suggest that you and other interested readers of this blog disgest the contents of the below articles. The info gleaned will be quite revealing and educational.

      Unfortunately some of the citations “split” when I was copying and pasting…and do not know how to correct this error.

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  4. brokenbrilliant June 14, 2013 at 05:37 #

    Reblogged this on Broken Brain – Brilliant Mind and commented:
    I’ve been reading, thinking, and writing about autonomic nervous system issues in connection with TBI for some time, now. The connection is pretty obvious to me, and I believe it also contributes to the development of PTSD after concussion/TBI. There is an important connection between the two, and I’m convinced that autonomic nervous system issues are significant contributors to both the trauma that comes from TBI (after the injury, not just before/during), and our physiological and psychological responses to it.

  5. brokenbrilliant June 14, 2013 at 05:38 #

    I’ve been reading, thinking, and writing about autonomic nervous system issues in connection with TBI for some time, now. The connection is pretty obvious to me, and I believe it also contributes to the development of PTSD after concussion/TBI. There is an important connection between the two, and I’m convinced that autonomic nervous system issues are significant contributors to both the trauma that comes from TBI (after the injury, not just before/during), and our physiological and psychological responses to it.

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