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Duhaime A.-C.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Beckwith J.G.,Simbex, Llc | Maerlender A.C.,Pediatric Neuropsychological Services | Crisco J.J.,Bioengineering Laboratory | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Neurosurgery | Year: 2012

Object. Concussive head injuries have received much attention in the medical and public arenas, as concerns have been raised about the potential short- and long-term consequences of injuries sustained in sports and other activities. While many student athletes have required evaluation after concussion, the exact definition of concussion has varied among disciplines and over time. The authors used data gathered as part of a multiinstitutional longitudinal study of the biomechanics of head impacts in helmeted collegiate athletes to characterize what signs, symptoms, and clinical histories were used to designate players as having sustained concussions. Methods. Players on 3 college football teams and 4 ice hockey teams (male and female) wore helmets instrumented with Head Impact Telemetry (HIT) technology during practices and games over 2-4 seasons of play. Preseason clinical screening batteries assessed baseline cognition and reported symptoms. If a concussion was diagnosed by the team medical staff, basic descriptive information was collected at presentation, and concussed players were reevaluated serially. The specific symptoms or findings associated with the diagnosis of acute concussion, relation to specific impact events, timing of symptom onset and diagnosis, and recorded biomechanical parameters were analyzed. Results. Data were collected from 450 athletes with 486,594 recorded head impacts. Forty-eight separate concussions were diagnosed in 44 individual players. Mental clouding, headache, and dizziness were the most common presenting symptoms. Thirty-one diagnosed cases were associated with an identified impact event; in 17 cases no specific impact event was identified. Onset of symptoms was immediate in 24 players, delayed in 11, and unspecified in 13. In 8 cases the diagnosis was made immediately after a head impact, but in most cases the diagnosis was delayed (median 17 hours). One diagnosed concussion involved a 30-second loss of consciousness; all other players retained alertness. Most diagnoses were based on self-reported symptoms. The mean peak angular and rotational acceleration values for those cases associated with a specific identified impact were 86.1 ±42.6g (range 16.5-177.9g) and 3620 ± 2166 rad/sec2 (range 183-7589 rad/sec2), respectively. Conclusions. Approximately two-thirds of diagnosed concussions were associated with a specific contact event. Half of all players diagnosed with concussions had delayed or unclear timing of onset of symptoms. Most had no externally observed findings. Diagnosis was usually based on a range of self-reported symptoms after a variable delay. Accelerations clustered in the higher percentiles for all impact events, but encompassed a wide range. These data highlight the heterogeneity of criteria for concussion diagnosis, and in this sports context, its heavy reliance on self-reported symptoms. More specific and standardized definitions of clinical and objective correlates of a "concussion spectrum" may be needed in future research efforts, as well as in the clinical diagnostic arena.

Wilczek P.,Bioengineering Laboratory | Zembala M.,Silesian Center for Heart Diseases | Cichon T.,Center of Oncology of Poland | Smolarczyk R.,Center of Oncology of Poland | Szala S.,Center of Oncology of Poland
Kardiochirurgia i Torakochirurgia Polska | Year: 2012

Specific cardiac stem/progenitor cells (CSCs/CPCs) are multipotent and clonogenic, giving rise to cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells. These cells can be used in cell therapy for the treatment of diseased heart tissue, but there is a need for an effective targeting system that directs the cells to the infarcted area. The aim of this study was to monitor changes in CSC/CPC morphology and the percentage of c-kit- and MDR-1-positive cells after culturing on various substrata and in different media. Myocardial tissue samples were taken from explanted hearts under sterile conditions. After the cells had grown to confluence, they were detached by gentle enzymatic digestion and seeded on poly-D-lysine-coated dishes. After a period of one week, the cells were transferred onto different substrata and cultured with growth factors and without growth factors. Cells transferred to the culture dishes coated with different substrata presented differences in morphology and in the percentage of c-kit- and MDR-1-positive cells. Higher percentages of c-kit- and MDR-1-positive cells were observed on the fbronectin-coated dishes cultured without growth factors. The data obtained should be useful for the construction of a Scaffold dedicated to the effective transfer of c-kit- and MDR-1-positive cells to the damaged heart.

Alloni A.,University of Pavia | Lanzola G.,University of Pavia | Triulzi F.,Neuroradiology Unit | Bellazzi R.,University of Pavia | Reni G.,Bioengineering Laboratory
Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS | Year: 2015

The Colibri project is introduced, whose aim is setting up a shared database of Magnetic Resonance images concerning pediatric patients affected by neurological rare disorders. The project involves 19 Italian centers of excellence in pediatric neuro-radiology and is supported by the nationwide coordinating center for the Information and Communication Technology research infrastructure. After the first year devoted to the design and the implementation, in November 2014 the system finally went into service at the centers involved in the project. This paper illustrates the initial assessment of the user perception and provides some preliminary statistics about its use. © 2015 IEEE.

Coelli S.,Polytechnic of Milan | Sclocco R.,Polytechnic of Milan | Barbieri R.,Harvard University | Reni G.,Bioengineering Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS | Year: 2015

This paper investigates the relation between mental engagement level and sustained attention in 9 healthy adults performing a Conners' 'not-X' continuous performance test (CPT), while their electroencephalographic (EEG) activity was simultaneously acquired. Spectral powers were estimated and extracted in the classical EEG frequency bands. The engagement index (β/α) was calculated employing four different cortical montages suggested by the literature. Results show the efficacy of the estimated measures in detecting changes in mental state and its correlation with subject reaction times throughout the test. Moreover, the influence of the recording sites was proved underling the role of frontal cortex in maintaining a constant sustained attention level. © 2015 IEEE.

Ricotti L.,SantAnna School of Advanced Studies | Ravaschio A.,Bioengineering Laboratory
Gait and Posture | Year: 2011

Static balance in young athletes is an important ability that has a relevant influence on their present and future sport performances, as well as on the reduction in risk of injury. The present study reports data collected on three homogeneous groups of 9 years-old athletes (n=10 for each group), whose static balance was monitored every two months during an overall period of six months. At the beginning of the study, all of the children in each of the three groups were performing soccer activity with a frequency (three times a week) that was kept constant during the observation period. During the six months, group 1 maintained only the soccer activity, group 2 also performed swimming activity (twice a week) in parallel with the soccer activity, while group 3 started, at month 2, to perform soccer activity with a break dance course (twice a week). Double leg stance (with eyes open and closed) and single leg stance (on dominant and non-dominant leg) tests were performed using a force platform, and the COP area calculated for each trial. Results show a clear decrease in the " soccer + break dance" players COP area values during the six months, suggesting an improvement in their static balance. The difference was significantly greater with respect to that of soccer players and " soccer + swimming" players. This was evident in all the tests performed starting from two months after the break dance activity began. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

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