Publications by authors named "Brian L Brooks"

116 Publications

Multivariate Base Rates of Low Scores on Tests of Executive Functions in a Multi-Country Latin American Sample.

Dev Neuropsychol 2021 Jan-Feb;46(1):1-15. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Biocruces Bizkaia Health Research Institute. Cruces University Hospital . Barakaldo, Spain.

The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of low scores in a diverse Latin American population for two neuropsychological commonly used tests to evaluate executive functions and to compare the number of low scores obtained using normative data from a Spanish-speaking population from Latin America versus an English-speaking population from U.S.A. Healthy adults (N = 5402) were administered the Modified Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and Stroop Color-Word. Low scores on measures of executive functioning are common. Clinicians working with Spanish-speaking adults should take into account the higher probability of low scores on these measures to reduce false-positive diagnoses of cognitive deficits in an individual.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/87565641.2020.1863407DOI Listing
December 2020

Cortical Volume and Thickness in Youth Several Years After Concussion.

J Child Neurol 2021 Mar 16;36(3):186-194. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

432222Department of Pediatrics, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Objective: The long-term effects of pediatric concussion on brain morphometry remain poorly delineated. This study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate cortical volume and thickness in youth several years after concussion.

Methods: Participants aged 8-19 years old with a history of concussion (n = 37) or orthopedic injury (n = 20) underwent MRI, rated their postconcussion symptoms, and completed cognitive testing on average 2.6 years (SD = 1.6) after injury. FreeSurfer was used to obtain cortical volume and thickness measurements as well as determine any significant correlations between brain morphometry, postconcussion symptoms (parent and self-report), and cognitive functioning.

Results: No significant group differences were found for either cortical volume or thickness. Youth with a history of concussion had higher postconcussion symptom scores (both parent and self-report Postconcussion Symptom Inventory) than the orthopedic injury group, but symptom ratings did not significantly correlate with cortical volume or thickness. Across both groups, faster reaction time on a computerized neurocognitive test battery (CNS Vital Signs) was associated with a thinner cortex in the left pars triangularis of the inferior frontal gyrus and the left caudal anterior cingulate. Better verbal memory was associated with a thinner cortex in the left rostral middle frontal gyrus.

Conclusion: Findings do not support differences in cortical volume or thickness approximately 2.5 years postconcussion in youth, suggesting either long-term cortical recovery or no cortical differences as a result of injury. Further research using a longitudinal study design and larger samples is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0883073820962930DOI Listing
March 2021

Multiple Past Concussions in High School Hockey Players: Examining Cognitive Functioning and Symptom Reporting.

Clin J Sport Med 2020 Sep 15. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Neurosciences Program, Alberta Children's Hospital, Calgary, AB, Canada.

Objective: To investigate (1) if there are meaningful differences in baseline preseason cognitive functioning or symptom reporting between high school ice hockey players with and without prior concussions and (2) determine which health history variables predict symptom reporting.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: High schools across the state of Maine.

Participants: Participants were 1616 male high school ice hockey players (mean age = 15.6 years; SD = 1.5 years) who completed baseline testing between 2009 and 2015.

Independent Variables: Athletes were grouped according to their self-reported concussion history [0 (n = 1136), 1 (n = 321), 2 (n = 112), or 3+ (n = 47) previous concussions].

Main Outcome Measures: Cognitive functioning was measured by the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) battery, and symptom ratings were obtained from the Post-Concussion Symptom Scale.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences between groups in cognitive functioning as measured by ImPACT. The group with ≥3 prior concussions endorsed higher total symptom scores, but the effect sizes were small and not statistically significant. In a multivariate model, prior treatment for headaches (not necessarily migraines), prior treatment for a psychiatric condition, and prior treatment for substance/alcohol use all significantly predicted total symptom scores, with concussion history being the weakest independent predictor.

Conclusions: Players with a history of prior concussions performed similarly to players with no prior concussions on cognitive testing. Health history factors were more strongly associated with symptom reporting than concussion history.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JSM.0000000000000806DOI Listing
September 2020

Executive behavior and functional abilities in children with perinatal stroke and the associated caregiver impact.

Child Neuropsychol 2021 Jan 28;27(1):83-95. Epub 2020 Jul 28.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta , Edmonton, Canada.

Perinatal stroke is the most common form of stroke in childhood and is followed by a variety of outcomes, with many children experiencing specific functional and neuropsychological deficits. The association of these outcomes with the psychosocial impact caregivers face is not well documented. The goal of our pilot study was to examine caregivers' perception of executive behavior and functional abilities among children with perinatal stroke, and how these outcomes impact the caregivers. We administered three questionnaires to primary caregivers of children with perinatal stroke to obtain caregiver-reported measures of (1) executive behavior of their child (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, Second Edition), (2) the functional abilities of their child (Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory Computer Adaptive Test), and (3) the psychosocial impact experienced by the caregiver themselves (Parental Outcome Measure). Participants included 20 children (mean age = 9.3 years, range = 6-16 years) with perinatal stroke and their primary caregivers. Functional abilities in the children were rated as clinically impaired in the domains of daily activities and mobility. Half of the children exhibited clinically impaired ratings on at least one executive behavior domain, but the mean scores for these domains did not reach clinically impaired levels. Greater ratings of problems in daily activities for the child was associated with greater caregiver guilt ( = -0.55, = 0.02). Caregivers of children with perinatal stroke who experience limitations in performing daily activities should be more closely monitored for adverse impact and be provided the necessary support and education to alleviate the associated guilt.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09297049.2020.1796953DOI Listing
January 2021

Functional magnetic resonance imaging study of working memory several years after pediatric concussion.

Brain Inj 2020 06 12;34(7):895-904. Epub 2020 May 12.

Departments of Paediatrics and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary , Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Primary Objective: The neurophysiological effects of pediatric concussion several years after injury remain inadequately characterized. The objective of this study was to determine if a history of concussion was associated with BOLD response differences during an n-back working memory task in youth.

Research Design: Observational, cross-sectional.

Methods And Procedures: Participants include 52 children and adolescents (M = 15.1 years, 95%CI = 14.4-15.8, range = 9-19) with past concussion (n = 33) or orthopedic injury (OI; n = 19). Mean time since injury was 2.5 years (95%CI = 2.0-3.0). Measures included postconcussion symptom ratings, neuropsychological testing, and blood-oxygen-dependent-level (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during an n-back working memory task.

Main Outcomes And Results: Groups did not differ on accuracy or speed during the three n-back conditions. They also did not differ in BOLD signal change for the 1- vs. 0-back or 2- vs. 0-back contrasts (controlling for task performance).

Conclusions: This study does not support group differences in BOLD response during an n-back working memory task in youth who are on average 2.5 years post-concussion. The findings are encouraging from the perspective of understanding recovery after pediatric concussion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02699052.2020.1753240DOI Listing
June 2020

The use of the MSVT in children and adolescents with epilepsy.

Appl Neuropsychol Child 2020 Oct-Dec;9(4):323-328. Epub 2020 Apr 16.

Neuropsychology Service, Alberta Children's Hospital, Calgary, Canada.

Pediatric neuropsychologists are increasingly recognizing the importance of performance validity testing during evaluations. The use of such measures to detect insufficient effort is of particular importance in pediatric epilepsy evaluations, where test results are often used to guide surgical decisions and failure to detect poor task engagement can result in postsurgical cognitive decline. The present investigation assesses the utility of the Medical Symptom Validity Test (MSVT) in 104 clinically referred children and adolescents with epilepsy. Though the overall failure rate was 15.4% of the total group, children with 2nd grade or higher reading skills (a requirement of the task) passed at a very high rate (96.6%). Of the three failures, two were unequivocally deemed true positives, while the third failed due to extreme somnolence during testing. Notably, for those with ≥2nd grade reading levels, MSVT validity indices were unrelated to patient age, intellectual functioning, or age of epilepsy onset, while modest relations were seen with specific memory measures, number of epilepsy medications, and seizure frequency. Despite these associations, however, this did not result in more failures in this population of children and adolescents with substantial neurologic involvement, as pass rates exceeded 92% for those with intellectual disability, high seizure frequency, high medication burden, and even prior surgical resection of critical memory structures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21622965.2020.1750127DOI Listing
April 2020

Efficacy of Melatonin in Children With Postconcussive Symptoms: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Pediatrics 2020 04 26;145(4). Epub 2020 Mar 26.

Department of Pediatrics, Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute and.

Background: Approximately 25% of children with concussion have persistent postconcussive symptoms (PPCS) with resultant significant impacts on quality of life. Melatonin has significant neuroprotective properties, and promising preclinical data suggest its potential to improve outcomes after traumatic brain injury. We hypothesized that treatment with melatonin would result in a greater decrease in PPCS symptoms when compared with a placebo.

Methods: We conducted a randomized, double-blind trial of 3 or 10 mg of melatonin compared with a placebo (NCT01874847). We included youth (ages 8-18 years) with PPCS at 4 to 6 weeks after mild traumatic brain injury. Those with significant medical or psychiatric histories or a previous concussion within the last 3 months were excluded. The primary outcome was change in the total youth self-reported Post-Concussion Symptom Inventory score measured after 28 days of treatment. Secondary outcomes included change in health-related quality of life, cognition, and sleep.

Results: Ninety-nine children (mean age: 13.8 years; SD = 2.6 years; 58% girls) were randomly assigned. Symptoms improved over time with a median Post-Concussion Symptom Inventory change score of -21 (95% confidence interval [CI]: -16 to -27). There was no significant effect of melatonin when compared with a placebo in the intention-to-treat analysis (3 mg melatonin, -2 [95% CI: -13 to 6]; 10 mg melatonin, 4 [95% CI: -7 to 14]). No significant group differences in secondary outcomes were observed. Side effects were mild and similar to the placebo.

Conclusions: Children with PPCS had significant impairment in their quality of life. Seventy-eight percent demonstrated significant recovery between 1 and 3 months postinjury. This clinical trial does not support the use of melatonin for the treatment of pediatric PPCS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2019-2812DOI Listing
April 2020

Microstructure of the Corpus Callosum Long after Pediatric Concussion.

J Int Neuropsychol Soc 2020 09 18;26(8):763-775. Epub 2020 Mar 18.

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, Calgary, AB, Canada.

Objective: The long-term effects of pediatric concussion on white matter microstructure are poorly understood. This study investigated long-term changes in white matter diffusion properties of the corpus callosum in youth several years after concussion.

Methods: Participants were 8-19 years old with a history of concussion (n = 36) or orthopedic injury (OI) (n = 21). Mean time since injury for the sample was 2.6 years (SD = 1.6). Participants underwent diffusion magnetic resonance imaging, completed cognitive testing, and rated their post-concussion symptoms. Measures of diffusivity (fractional anisotropy, mean, axial, and radial diffusivity) were extracted from white matter tracts in the genu, body, and splenium regions of the corpus callosum. The genu and splenium tracts were further subdivided into 21 equally spaced regions along the tract and diffusion values were extracted from each of these smaller regions.

Results: White matter tracts in the genu, body, and splenium did not differ in diffusivity properties between youth with a history of concussion and those with a history of OI. No significant group differences were found in subdivisions of the genu and splenium after correcting for multiple comparisons. Diffusion metrics did not significantly correlate with symptom reports or cognitive performance.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that at approximately 2.5 years post-injury, youth with prior concussion do not have differences in their corpus callosum microstructure compared to youth with OI. Although these results are promising from the perspective of long-term recovery, further research utilizing longitudinal study designs is needed to confirm the long-term effects of pediatric concussion on white matter microstructure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1355617720000223DOI Listing
September 2020

How Perceptions Impact Recovery from Concussion in Childhood and Adolescence: a Systematic Review.

Neuropsychol Rev 2020 03 2;30(1):142-163. Epub 2020 Mar 2.

Alberta Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) SUPPORT Unit Knowledge Translation Platform, University of Alberta, 4-486D, Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, 11405-87 Ave NW, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 1C9, Canada.

Perceptions about the causes and consequences of concussion, and individual representations and interpretations of these factors, can influence the post-concussive recovery process. The goal of this project was to synthesize evidence on perceptions related to concussions as experienced by children, adolescents, and parents, and to evaluate how these perceptions impact post-concussive recovery in physical, behavioural, cognitive, and psychological domains. We undertook a systematic review based on the Cochrane Handbook, conducting a comprehensive search of six databases and Google Scholar. Duplicate, independent screening was employed and the quality of studies was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT). A total of 1552 unique records were identified, and six records (5 scientific articles and 1 thesis, published between 1990 and 2018; N = 26 to 412, age range from 2 to 18 years) were included. Perceptions about concussions were assessed differently between studies, with a range in types of measures and respondents. Some evidence suggested that perceptions could negatively impact concussion recovery, mostly post-concussive symptoms. However, results were not consistent between studies and the methodological quality was variable (and often low). There is limited evidence of the impact of perceptions of children, adolescents, and their parents on concussion recovery. Priorities for future research investigating concussion recovery should include recruiting representative samples, accounting for potential confounders, and measuring perceptions in children, adolescents and parents using validated measures. Higher quality studies are needed to better understand the role of perceptions in concussion recovery and to inform clinical care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11065-020-09430-yDOI Listing
March 2020

Headache long after pediatric concussion: presence, intensity, interference, and association with cognition.

Brain Inj 2020 03 12;34(4):575-582. Epub 2020 Feb 12.

Neurosciences Program, Alberta Children's Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

: Document headache presence, intensity, and interference after concussion(s), as well as examine its association with cognition.: Participants 8-19 years of age were assessed on average 34 months ( = 21.5) after an orthopedic injury (OI, = 29), single concussion ( = 21), or multiple concussions ( = 15).: Headache intensity was rated using the Headache Rating Scale and headache interference was rated using the Post-Concussion Symptom Inventory (PCSI). Cognition was rated using the PCSI and measured using CNS Vital Signs.: Type of injury did not differ significantly in headache presence or intensity. However, there was a dose-response relationship found for children's ratings of headache interference, which was rated highest among children with multiple concussions, intermediate among those with single concussion, and lowest among children with OI. Both headache intensity and interference ratings correlated significantly with self and parent ratings of cognition on the PCSI, but not with cognitive test performance.: Youth with single or multiple concussions report greater headache interference - but not higher headache intensity - compared to youth without concussion. Although higher headache intensity and interference were associated with more self-reported cognitive symptoms, headaches did not correlate with cognitive test performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02699052.2020.1725842DOI Listing
March 2020

N-Acetyl-Aspartate in the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Long After Concussion in Youth.

J Head Trauma Rehabil 2020 Mar/Apr;35(2):E127-E135

Department of Pediatrics (Drs MacMaster, Barlow, Yeates, and Brooks), Department of Psychiatry (Dr MacMaster), Department of Neuroscience (Mr McLellan), Department of Radiology (Dr Harris), Department of Clinical Neurosciences (Drs Barlow, Yeates, and Brooks), Department of Psychology (Dr Langevin, Yeates, and Brooks), Faculty of Kinesiology (Mr Virani), Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute (Drs Harris, Barlow, Langevin, Yeates, Brooks and Mr Virani), and Hotchkiss Brain Institute (Drs Harris and Yeates), University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Strategic Clinical Network for Addictions and Mental Health, Alberta Health Services, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Dr MacMaster); Neuropsychology Service, Alberta Children's Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Mr Virani and Dr Brooks); and Child Health Research Centre, University of Queensland, Brisbane, New South Wales, Australia (Dr Barlow).

Objective: Despite increasing interest in the neurobiological effects of concussion in youth, a paucity of information is available regarding outcomes long after injury. The objective of this study was to determine the association between a history of concussion and the putative neuronal marker N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in youth.

Setting: Outpatient clinic in a children's hospital.

Participants: Youth with concussion (N = 35, mean = 2.63, SD = 1.07 years postinjury) and youth with a nonconcussive orthopedic injury (N = 17) participated.

Design: A cross-sectional proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (H-MRS) study.

Main Measures: The primary outcome measure was NAA concentration in the right and left DLPFCs.

Results: We observed lower levels of NAA in the right DLPFC in youth with past concussion (F = 3.31, df = 4,51, P = .018) than in orthopedic controls but not in the left DLPFC (F = 2.04, df = 4,51, P = .105). The effect of lower NAA concentrations in the right DLPFC was primarily driven by youth with a single prior concussion versus those with multiple concussions. NAA in the left DLPFC, but not in right DLPFC, was associated with worse emotional symptoms in youth with concussion.

Conclusion: The presence of lower levels of DLPFC NAA suggests potential association of concussion in youth, although further investigation is needed, given that the result is driven by those with a single (and not multiple) concussion. Exploration of applying MRS in other brain regions is also warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HTR.0000000000000535DOI Listing
September 2019

A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Adolescents With Persistent Postconcussion Symptoms.

J Head Trauma Rehabil 2020 Mar/Apr;35(2):E103-E112

Departments of Psychology (Drs Tomfohr-Madsen, Madsen, Yeates, & Brooks) Psychiatry (Ms Bonneville), and Faculty of Kinesiology (Mr Virani), University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Faculté St Jean, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (Dr Plourde); Neuropsychology Service, Alberta Children's Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Mr Virani and Dr Brooks); Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, New South Wales, Australia (Dr Barlow); Department of Pediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Drs Tomfohr-Madsen, Yeates, Brooks, and Barlow); Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Drs Tomfohr-Madsen, Yeates, and Brooks and Mr Virani); Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Drs Yeates and Brooks); and Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Drs Yeates and Brooks).

Objective: Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is an effective insomnia treatment but has yet to be applied to adolescents with sleep disruption following concussion. This pilot study evaluated CBT-I to improve insomnia in adolescents with protracted concussion recovery.

Setting: Tertiary pediatric hospital.

Participants: Participants (N = 24) were 12 to 18 years old (M = 15.0, SD = 1.4), 15.1 weeks (SD = 9.2) postinjury, and presenting with sleep disruption and persistent postconcussion symptoms.

Design: A single-blind, parallel-group randomized controlled trial (RCT) design comparing 6 weeks of CBT-I and a treatment-as-usual control group. Outcomes were measured before treatment, at treatment completion, and 4 weeks after completion.

Main Measures: Primary outcome was Insomnia Severity Index. Secondary outcomes included Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep Scale, 7-night sleep diary, PROMIS Depression, PROMIS Anxiety, and Health and Behavior Inventory.

Results: Adolescents who received CBT-I demonstrated large and clinically significant improvements in insomnia ratings at posttreatment that were maintained at follow-up. They also reported improved sleep quality, fewer dysfunctional beliefs about sleep, better sleep efficiency, shorter sleep-onset latency, and longer sleep time compared with those with treatment as usual. There was also a modest reduction in postconcussion symptoms.

Conclusion: In this pilot RCT, 6 weeks of CBT-I produced significant improvement in sleep in adolescents with persistent postconcussion symptoms. A larger trial is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HTR.0000000000000504DOI Listing
June 2019

Functional connectivity of language networks after perinatal stroke.

Neuroimage Clin 2019 21;23:101861. Epub 2019 May 21.

Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program, Alberta Children's Hospital, Calgary, AB, Canada; Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI), Calgary, AB, Canada; Department of Pediatrics, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; Department of Radiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.

Successful language acquisition during development is imperative for lifelong function. Complex language networks develop throughout childhood. Perinatal stroke may cause significant language disabilities but function can also be remarkably normal. Studying such very early brain injury populations may inform developmental plasticity models of language networks. We examined functional connectivity (FC) of language networks in children with arterial and venous perinatal stroke and typically developing controls (TDC) in a population-based, controlled, cohort study. Resting state functional MRI was performed at 3 T (TR/TE = 2000/30 ms, 150 volumes, 3.6mm voxels). Seed-based analyses used bilateral inferior frontal and superior temporal gyri. A subset of stroke participants completed clinical language testing. Sixty-six children participated (median age: 12.85±3.8y, range 6-19; arterial N = 17; venous N = 15; TDC N = 34]. Children with left hemisphere strokes had comparable FC in their right hemispheres compared to TDC. Inter- and intra-hemispheric connectivity strengths were similar between TDC and PVI but lower for AIS. Reduced FC was associated with poorer language comprehension. Language networks can be estimated using resting-state fMRI in children with perinatal stroke. Altered connectivity may occur in both hemispheres, is more pronounced with arterial lesions, and is associated with clinical function. Our results have implications for therapeutic language interventions after early stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2019.101861DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6536856PMC
June 2020

Multivariate Base Rates of Low Scores on Tests of Learning and Memory Among Latino Adult Populations.

J Int Neuropsychol Soc 2019 09 27;25(8):834-844. Epub 2019 May 27.

Biocruces Bizkaia Health Research Institute, Cruces University Hospital, Barakaldo, 48903, Spain.

Objective: To determine the prevalence of low scores for two neuropsychological tests with five total scores that evaluate learning and memory functions.

Method: N = 5402 healthy adults from 11 countries in Latin America and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico were administered the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure (ROCF) and the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT-R). Two-thirds of the participants were women, and the average age was 53.5 ± 20.0 years. Z-scores were calculated for ROCF Copy and Memory scores and HVLT-R Total Recall, Delayed Recall, and Recognition scores, adjusting for age, age2, sex, education, and interaction variables if significant for the given country. Each Z-score was converted to a percentile for each of the five subtest scores. Each participant was categorized based on his/her number of low scoring tests in specific percentile cutoff groups (25th, 16th, 10th, 5th, and 2nd).

Results: Between 57.3% (El Salvador) and 64.6% (Bolivia) of the sample scored below the 25th percentile on at least one of the five scores. Between 27.1% (El Salvador) and 33.9% (Puerto Rico) scored below the 10th percentile on at least one of the five subtests. Between 5.9% (Chile, El Salvador, Peru) and 10.3% (Argentina) scored below the 2nd percentile on at least one of the five scores.

Conclusions: Results are consistent with other studies that found that low scores are common when multiple neuropsychological outcomes are evaluated in healthy individuals. Clinicians should consider the higher probability of low scores when evaluating learning and memory using various sets of scores to reduce false-positive diagnoses of cognitive deficits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S135561771900050XDOI Listing
September 2019

Predicting Wellness After Pediatric Concussion.

J Int Neuropsychol Soc 2019 04;25(4):375-389

Clinical Research Unit,Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute,Ottawa, Ontario,Canada, K1H 5B2.

Objective: Concussion in children and adolescents is a prevalent problem with implications for subsequent physical, cognitive, behavioral, and psychological functioning, as well as quality of life. While these consequences warrant attention, most concussed children recover well. This study aimed to determine what pre-injury, demographic, and injury-related factors are associated with optimal outcome ("wellness") after pediatric concussion.

Method: A total of 311 children 6-18 years of age with concussion participated in a longitudinal, prospective cohort study. Pre-morbid conditions and acute injury variables, including post-concussive symptoms (PCS) and cognitive screening (Standardized Assessment of Concussion, SAC), were collected in the emergency department, and a neuropsychological assessment was performed at 4 and 12 weeks post-injury. Wellness, defined by the absence of PCS and cognitive inefficiency and the presence of good quality of life, was the main outcome. Stepwise logistic regression was performed using 19 predictor variables.

Results: 41.5% and 52.2% of participants were classified as being well at 4 and 12 weeks post-injury, respectively. The final model indicated that children who were younger, who sustained sports/recreational injuries (vs. other types), who did not have a history of developmental problems, and who had better acute working memory (SAC concentration score) were significantly more likely to be well.

Conclusions: Determining the variables associated with wellness after pediatric concussion has the potential to clarify which children are likely to show optimal recovery. Future work focusing on wellness and concussion should include appropriate control groups and document more extensively pre-injury and injury-related factors that could additionally contribute to wellness. (JINS, 2019, 25, 375-389).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1355617719000286DOI Listing
April 2019

Psychological Resilience as a Predictor of Symptom Severity in Adolescents With Poor Recovery Following Concussion.

J Int Neuropsychol Soc 2019 04;25(4):346-354

Department of Psychology,University of Calgary,Calgary,Alberta.

Objectives: Examine the mediating effects of anxiety and depressive symptoms on the relationship between psychological resilience and post-concussive symptoms (PCS) in children with poor recovery following concussion.

Participants And Methods: Adolescents (N=93), ages 13 to 18 years, were assessed at a neuropsychology screening clinic at a children's hospital. They sustained concussions more than 1 month before the clinic visit (median time since injury=5.1 months; range=42-473 days) and were seen on the basis of poor recovery (i.e., presence of persistent PCS and complaints of cognitive problems). Self-reported psychological resilience was measured using the 10-item version of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale; self- and parent-reported anxiety and depressive symptoms were measured using the Behaviour Assessment System for Children - Second Edition; and self- and parent-reported PCS were measured using the Post-Concussion Symptom Inventory. All variables were measured concurrently. Regression-based mediation analyses were conducted to examine anxiety and depressive symptoms as mediators of the relationship between psychological resilience and PCS.

Results: Psychological resilience significantly predicted self-reported PCS. Self-reported anxiety and depressive symptoms significantly mediated the relationship between resilience and self-reported PCS, and parent-reported child depressive symptoms significantly mediated the relationship between resilience and self- and parent-reported PCS.

Conclusions: Psychological resilience plays an important role in recovery from concussion, and this relationship may be mediated by anxiety and depressive symptoms. These results help shed light on the mechanisms of the role of psychological resilience in predicting PCS in children with prolonged symptom recovery. (JINS, 2019, 25, 346-354).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1355617718001169DOI Listing
April 2019

Insomnia in Adolescents with Slow Recovery from Concussion.

J Neurotrauma 2019 08 23;36(16):2391-2399. Epub 2019 Apr 23.

2Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Sleep disruption can occur after brain injury; however, insomnia prevalence and severity in adolescents with persistent post-concussion symptoms have not been investigated. This study examined: 1) some of the psychometric properties of the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), 2) the prevalence and severity of insomnia symptoms, and 3) associations between insomnia symptoms and clinical measures of post-concussion symptoms, mental health symptoms, and cognitive tests in adolescents with slow recovery from concussion. Participants ( = 121) were adolescents 13-18 years of age (mean = 16.2; standard deviation [SD] = 1.2) and, on average, of 6.4 months (SD = 3.8) post-concussion. This sample rated insomnia (ISI), post-concussion symptoms, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and cognitive complaints, as well as completed cognitive testing. The ISI demonstrated good internal consistency (alpha = 0.87) and a single factor structure. The majority of the sample endorsed at least some insomnia, with 62% being over the clinical cutoff for experiencing clinically significant symptoms of insomnia. Higher insomnia severity was associated with a greater number of previous concussions, worse post-concussion symptoms, more anxiety, and higher depression. Insomnia was significantly associated with more cognitive complaints and higher rates of failure on performance validity tests, but not with actual objectively measured cognitive abilities. Insomnia is common in adolescents with slow recovery from concussion and is associated with worse post-concussion symptoms, anxiety, depression, cognitive complaints, and performance validity concerns. Investigating evidence-based treatments for insomnia should be a priority in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/neu.2018.6257DOI Listing
August 2019

Cognitive outcomes of childhood primary CNS vasculitis.

Neuropsychology 2019 May 14;33(4):462-469. Epub 2019 Feb 14.

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary.

Objective: To characterize the clinical cognitive phenotypes and severity of cognitive burden according to disease subtype in children with primary central nervous system vasculitis (cPACNS).

Method: This retrospective multicenter inflammatory brain disease database study examined the neuropsychological outcomes of 80 children (44 male; mean age = 7.89 years, SD = 4.17) consecutively diagnosed with primary CNS vasculitis between 1992 and 2016. Twenty-one children had small-vessel disease (AN_cPACNS), and 59 had large-vessel disease (including 49 nonprogressive [APNP_cPACNS] and 10 progressive [APP_cPACNS]). Neuroimaging revealed MRI abnormalities in 100% and 90% of children with large- and small-vessel vasculitis, respectively. The primary outcomes were Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) and the index scores from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-III (WISC-III, WISC-IV, and WISC-V). Analyses explored the effect of disease subtype.

Results: Intellectual functioning was assessed on average 2.82 years after symptom onset. Children with small-vessel CNS vasculitis had significantly lower FSIQ scores than did those with large-vessel CNS vasculitis (Ms = 81.90 vs. 94.82; p = .04). Intellectual disability (FSIQ < 70) was more frequent in children with small-vessel disease (24% vs. 5%). All groups displayed lower Working Memory and Processing Speed index scores relative to Verbal Comprehension and Perceptual Reasoning index scores. Group differences in FSIQ remained significant after controlling for the presence of seizures.

Conclusion: Children with small-vessel CNS vasculitis are more likely to demonstrate deficits in intellectual functioning than are those with large-vessel disease, and children with both types of CNS vasculitis demonstrate relatively poor working memory and processing speed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/neu0000513DOI Listing
May 2019

Factor structure of the CNS Vital Signs computerized cognitive battery in youth with neurological diagnoses.

Child Neuropsychol 2019 10 24;25(7):980-991. Epub 2019 Jan 24.

f Department of Brain Health Program , Copeman Healthcare Centre , Calgary , Canada.

Computerized cognitive batteries, such as CNS Vital Signs (CNSVS), can provide valuable information in clinical and research settings. However, psychometric properties, especially in children and adolescents, remain relatively understudied. The aim of this study was to investigate the factor structure of CNSVS in children and adolescents with neurological diagnoses. Participants with neurological diagnoses ( = 280) age 7-19 years were assessed as part of their clinical care at a tertiary hospital. All participants received the full CNSVS computerized cognitive battery, which contains seven subtests designed to measure attention, executive functioning, psychomotor speed, and memory. Principal components analyses were used to examine factor structure. Scores from CNSVS subtests loaded onto a three-component solution and accounted for 46% of the variance. The three components were deemed to best represent (1) speed, (2) memory, and (3) inhibition, with subtest scores loading differently than the original 11 primary and secondary domain scores would have suggested. Although the CNSVS program generates numerous primary and secondary domain scores, a three-component solution represents a more parsimonious approach to interpreting performance on the CNSVS in youth with neurological diagnoses. Confirmation of this factor solution in other samples is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09297049.2019.1569609DOI Listing
October 2019

The WISC-V in children and adolescents with epilepsy.

Child Neuropsychol 2019 10 24;25(7):992-1002. Epub 2019 Jan 24.

g Copeman Healthcare Centre.

Despite its popularity in the neuropsychological evaluation of children, the utility of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Fifth Edition (WISC-V) has not yet been investigated in children with epilepsy. Eighty clinically referred children and adolescents with epilepsy were administered the WISC-V as part of a comprehensive assessment and scores were compared to matched controls from the WISC-V standardization sample. tests compared WISC-V indices and subtests between patients and controls and Chi-square analyses compared the rates of low scores. Correlational analyses assessed the relationships between epilepsy severity variables (e.g., age of onset, duration of epilepsy, number of antiepileptic drugs, seizure frequency). All WISC-V composites and subtests were significantly lower in patients versus controls and the rate of low scores was higher in patients than controls for all composites and subtests with the exception of Figure Weights. The Working Memory Index and Processing Speed Index were most sensitive to impairment, while the Verbal Comprehension Index and Fluid Reasoning Index were least sensitive. Of the epilepsy severity variables, age of seizure onset and number of antiepileptic drugs were strong predictors of deficits, whereas seizure frequency was the weakest predictor. Importantly, no significant differences were seen in children with right hemisphere epilepsy versus left on the five WISC-V composites, though a trend was seen towards a lower Visual-Spatial Index in those with right-sided focal seizures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09297049.2019.1571181DOI Listing
October 2019

Derivation and Initial Validation of Clinical Phenotypes of Children Presenting with Concussion Acutely in the Emergency Department: Latent Class Analysis of a Multi-Center, Prospective Cohort, Observational Study.

J Neurotrauma 2019 06 6;36(11):1758-1767. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

2 Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

The identification of clinical phenotypes may help parse the substantial heterogeneity that characterizes children with concussion. This study used latent class analysis (LCA) to identify discernible phenotypes among children with acute concussion and examine the association between phenotypes and persistent post-concussive symptoms (PPCS) at 4 and 12 weeks post-injury. We conducted LCA of variables representing pre-injury history, clinical presentation, and parent symptom ratings, derived from a prospective cohort, observational study that recruited participants from August 2013 until June 2015 at nine pediatric emergency departments within the Pediatric Emergency Research Canada network. This substudy included 2323 children from the original cohort ages 8.00-17.99 years who had data for at least 80% of all variables included in each LCA. Concussion was defined according to Zurich consensus statement diagnostic criteria. The primary outcome was PPCS at 4 and 12 weeks after enrollment. Participants were 39.5% female and had a mean age of 12.8 years (standard deviation = 2.6). Follow-up was completed by 1980 (85%) at 4 weeks and 1744 (75%) at 12 weeks. LCA identified four groups with discrete pre-injury histories, four groups with discrete clinical presentations, and seven groups with discrete profiles of acute symptoms. Clinical phenotypes based on the profile of group membership across the three LCAs varied significantly in their predicted probability of PPCS at 4 and 12 weeks. The results indicate that children with concussion can be grouped into distinct clinical phenotypes, based on pre-injury history, clinical presentation, and acute symptoms, with markedly different risks of PPCS. With further validation, clinical phenotypes may provide a useful heuristic for clinical assessment and management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/neu.2018.6009DOI Listing
June 2019

Multivariate base rates for the assessment of executive functioning among children and adolescents.

Child Neuropsychol 2019 08 11;25(6):836-858. Epub 2018 Dec 11.

a Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation , Harvard Medical School , Boston , MA , USA.

This study provides observed base rates of low executive functioning test scores among healthy children and adolescents, stratifies those base rates by narrow intellectual functioning and age groupings, and provides normative classification ranges to aid the interpretation of performances on the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) in clinical practice and research. Participants included 875 children and adolescents between 8 and 19 years old from the D-KEFS normative sample (48% male; 52% female). Among these participants, 838 had complete data and were included in the current study. The racial/ethnic composition of the sample was: White (73.7%), African American (12.4%), Hispanic (11.1%), and other racial/ethnic backgrounds (2.7%). The Overall Test Battery Mean (OTBM) and the prevalence of low scores at various clinical cut-offs were calculated for the 13 primary scores from the D-KEFS Trail Making Test, Verbal Fluency Test, and Color-Word Interference Test. The OTBM and base rates were also calculated separately for those scores reflecting executive functioning (n = 7) and processing speed (n = 6). Healthy children and adolescents commonly obtained low scores on the D-KEFS tests considered here. Younger age, lower estimated full-scale intelligence quotient, and more test scores interpreted were associated with a greater frequency of low scores. Clinicians and researchers are encouraged to consider these multivariate base rates when assessing and attempting to identify executive functioning impairment among children and adolescents with the D-KEFS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09297049.2018.1543389DOI Listing
August 2019

Cerebral blood flow in children and adolescents several years after concussion.

Brain Inj 2019 31;33(2):233-241. Epub 2018 Oct 31.

b Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute , University of Calgary , Calgary , Alberta , Canada.

Objectives: The long-term effects of concussion in youth remain poorly understood. The objective of this study was to determine the association between history of concussion and cerebral blood flow (CBF) in youth.

Methods: A total of 53 children and adolescents with a history of concussion (n = 37) or orthopaedic injury (OI; n = 16) were considered. Measures included pseudo-continuous arterial spin labelling magnetic resonance imaging to quantify CBF, post-concussion symptoms, psychological symptoms, and cognitive testing.

Results: Participants (mean age: 14.4 years, 95% CI = 13.8-15.4, range = 8-19) were on average 2.7 years (95% CI = 2.2-3.1) post-injury. Youth with a history of concussion had higher parent-reported physical, cognitive, anxiety, and depression symptoms than children with OI, but the groups did not differ on self-reported symptoms (post-concussive or psychological) or cognitive testing. Global CBF did not differ between groups. Regional CBF analyses suggested that youth with a history of concussion had hypoperfusion in posterior and inferior regions and hyperperfusion in anterior/frontal/temporal regions as compared to those with OI. However, neither global nor regional CBF were significantly associated with demographics, pre-injury functioning, number of concussions, time since injury, post-concussive symptoms, psychological symptoms, or cognitive abilities.

Conclusions: Youth with a history of concussion demonstrate differences in regional CBF (not global CBF), but without clear clinical expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02699052.2018.1540798DOI Listing
January 2020

Concussion Burden, Recovery, and Risk Factors in Elite Youth Ice Hockey Players.

Clin J Sport Med 2021 Jan;31(1):70-77

Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.

Objective: To examine rates of concussion and more severe concussion (time loss of greater than 10 days) in elite 13- to 17-year-old ice hockey players.

Methods: This is a prospective cohort study (Alberta, Canada). Bantam (13-14 years) and Midget (15-17 years) male and female elite (top 20% by division of play) youth ice hockey players participated in this study. Players completed a demographic and medical history questionnaire and clinical test battery at the beginning of the season. A previously validated injury surveillance system was used to document exposure hours and injury during one season of play (8 months). Players with a suspected ice hockey-related concussion were referred to the study sport medicine physicians for assessment. Time loss from hockey participation was documented on an injury report form.

Results: Overall, 778 elite youth ice hockey players (659 males and 119 females; aged 13-17 years) participated in this study. In total, 143 concussions were reported. The concussion incidence rate (IR) was 17.60 concussions/100 players (95% CI, 15.09-20.44). The concussion IR was 1.31 concussions/1000 player-hours (95% CI, 1.09-1.57). Time loss of greater than 10 days was reported in 74% of cases (106/143), and 20% (n = 28) had time loss of greater than 30 days.

Conclusions: Concussion is a common injury in elite youth ice hockey players. In this study population, a large proportion of concussions (74%) resulted in a time loss of greater than 10 days, possibly reflecting more conservative management or longer recovery in youth athletes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JSM.0000000000000673DOI Listing
January 2021

Psychological Resilience as a Predictor of Persistent Post-Concussive Symptoms in Children With Single and Multiple Concussion.

J Int Neuropsychol Soc 2018 09 7;24(8):759-768. Epub 2018 Sep 7.

Department of Psychology,University of Calgary,Calgary,Alberta,Canada.

Objectives: To evaluate the relationship of psychological resilience to persistent post-concussive symptoms (PCS) in children with a history of single or multiple concussions, as well as orthopedic injury (OI).

Methods: Participants (N=75) were children, ages 8-18 years, who sustained a single concussion (n=24), multiple concussions (n=25), or an OI (n=26), recruited from a tertiary care children's hospital. All participants sustained injuries at least 6 months before recruitment, with an average time since injury of 32.9 months. Self-reported psychological resilience was measured using the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, and both self- and parent-reported PCS were measured using the Post-Concussion Symptom Inventory. Hierarchical regression analyses examined psychological resilience as a predictor of PCS, both as a main effect and as a moderator of group differences.

Results: Multiple concussions and low psychological resilience were both significant predictors of persistent PCS. Resilience was not a significant moderator of group differences in PCS.

Conclusions: Sustaining multiple concussions may increase a child's risk of persistent PCS; however, high psychological resilience may serve as a protective factor, regardless of the number or type of injuries sustained. These findings provide support for developing and testing interventions aimed at increasing psychological resilience as a potential means of improving outcomes for children suffering from persistent PCS after concussion. (JINS, 2018, 24, 759-768).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1355617718000437DOI Listing
September 2018

Physical activity and concussion risk in youth ice hockey players: pooled prospective injury surveillance cohorts from Canada.

BMJ Open 2018 09 4;8(9):e022735. Epub 2018 Sep 4.

Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Objective: To examine the association between meeting physical activity (PA) volume recommendations and concussion rates in male ice hockey players aged 11-17 years.

Design: Pooled prospective injury surveillance cohort data from the 2011-2012, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 youth ice hockey seasons.

Participants: Male Alberta-based Pee Wee (aged 11-12 years), Bantam (aged 13-14 years) and Midget (aged 15-17 years) ice hockey players participating in any of the three cohorts were eligible (n=1726). A total of 1208 players were included after the exclusion criteria were applied (ie, players with new/unhealed injuries within 6 weeks of study entry, missing 6-week PA history questionnaires, missing game and/or practice participation exposure hours, players who sustained concussions when no participation exposure hours were collected).

Outcome Measures: Dependent variable: medically diagnosed concussion. Independent variable: whether or not players' self-reported history of PA (ie, hours of physical education and extracurricular sport participation) met the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology and Public Health Agency of Canada recommendation of one hour daily during the 6 weeks prior to study entry (ie, 42 hours or more).

Results: The PA volume recommendations were met by 65.05% of players who subsequently sustained concussions, and 75.34% of players who did not sustain concussions. The concussion incidence rate ratios (IRR) reflect higher concussion rates in players who did not meet the PA volume recommendations vs. players who met the PA volume recommendations among Pee Wee players (IRR 2.94 95% CI 1.30 to 6.64), Bantam players (IRR 2.18, 95% CI 1.21 to 3.93) and non-elite players aged 11-14 years (IRR 2.45, 95% CI 1.33 to 4.51).

Conclusion And Relevance: The concussion rate of players who did not meet the Canadian PA volume recommendations was more than twice the concussion rate of players who met recommendations among male Pee Wee players, Bantam players and non-elite level players. Further exploration of the impact of public health PA recommendations in a sport injury prevention context is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022735DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6129105PMC
September 2018

Derivation of New Embedded Performance Validity Indicators for the Child and Adolescent Memory Profile (ChAMP) Objects Subtest in Youth with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2019 Jun;34(4):531-538

Copeman Healthcare Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Background: Development of an embedded performance validity test (PVT) is desired for visual memory tests. The goal of this study was to derive an embedded PVT for the Child and Adolescent Memory Profile (ChAMP) Objects visual memory subtest in youth with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).

Methods: Children and adolescents (N = 91; mean age = 14.9 years, SD = 2.2, range = 8-18) on average 25.2 weeks (SD = 15.4) post-MTBI were administered ChAMP Objects. Two stand-alone PVTs (Test of Memory Malingering and Medical Symptom Validity Test) were administered, which allowed for grouping into valid (zero failed stand-alone PVTs) and invalid (both stand-alone PVTs failed). Cutoff scores for invalid performance on ChAMP Objects and Objects Delayed were established using failure on two PVTs as the criterion.

Results: One in five youth (n = 19) failed both PVTs. Invalid performance was not associated with demographics or time since injury, but was significantly correlated with both ChAMP Objects (r = .53, p<.001) and Objects Delayed (r = -.63, p<.001). Area under the curve suggested adequate discrimination by Objects (.87) and excellent discrimination by Objects Delayed (.91). A cutoff scaled score of 5 or less on ChAMP Objects provided sensitivity of 58% for detecting invalid performance with 96% sensitivity. A cutoff scaled score of 5 or less on ChAMP Objects Delayed achieved sensitivity of 63% and specificity of 96%. Interpreting the two embedded PVTs simultaneously improved sensitivity to 79% with 93% specificity.

Conclusion: This study yields promising new embedded PVTs for the ChAMP Objects subtest with strong sensitivity and specificity for detecting invalid performance in youth with MTBI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/arclin/acy068DOI Listing
June 2019

Convergent and divergent validity of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale in children with concussion and orthopaedic injury.

Brain Inj 2018 26;32(12):1525-1533. Epub 2018 Jul 26.

a Department of Psychology , University of Calgary , Calgary , AB, Canada.

Objective: Psychological resilience is an important predictor of outcome in concussion; however, there is no published evidence of psychometric support for use of a measure of psychological resilience in children with concussion. This study examined construct validity of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) in a paediatric concussion and orthopaedic injury sample.

Methods: Seventy-five children with a history of concussion or orthopaedic injury were recruited from a children's hospital. Total sample and within-group correlations between the CD-RISC (25- and 10-item versions) and measures presumed to be related or unrelated to the construct of psychological resilience were analysed.

Results: In the total sample, both versions of the CD-RISC were negatively correlated with self-reported depressive symptoms and general behaviour problems. The 10-item version was also negatively correlated with parent-reported general behaviour problems and self-reported anxiety, and was positively correlated with self-reported quality of life. The injury groups did not exhibit significantly different correlations.

Conclusions: The construct validity of the CD-RISC is satisfactory when used with children with concussion. The 10-item version may provide a more efficient measure of resiliency with better construct validity in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02699052.2018.1502471DOI Listing
August 2019

Predicting Psychological Distress after Pediatric Concussion.

J Neurotrauma 2019 03 10;36(5):679-685. Epub 2018 Oct 10.

5 Clinical Research Unit, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

A significant proportion of children and adolescents report psychological distress following concussion, but little is known about the predictors of these problems. The purpose of this study was to examine predictive factors of psychological distress following pediatric concussion. It was hypothesized that the presence of pre-injury psychological distress would be the strongest predictor of psychological distress post-concussion, with other demographic and acute injury factors adding incrementally to prediction. This is a prospective, multi-center cohort. Children and adolescents (6-17 years old; n = 311) who sustained a concussion and were assessed through four pediatric emergency departments. Participants were reassessed at 4-weeks (n = 275) and 12-weeks (n = 190) post-injury. Emergency department (ED) assessment documented injury mechanism, acute symptomatology, acute cognitive functioning, and pre-injury functioning. Psychological distress at 4- and 12-weeks follow-up was categorized as present if one or more psychological scores from the parent-completed measures (Child Behavior Checklist, Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) exceeded established cutoffs. The presence of psychological distress at each follow-up was predicted using multi-variable logistic regressions. Psychological distress was reported in 23% of youth at both 4- and 12-weeks post-concussion. A pre-injury diagnosis of anxiety and acutely forgetting recent information were significant predictors of psychological distress at 4 weeks, whereas worse acute orientation assessment in the ED predicted psychological distress at 12 weeks. Nearly one of four youth experienced psychological distress after concussion. Clinicians in acute care settings should screen for the factors (pre-injury anxiety, acute mental status) associated with post-injury psychological distress and consider proactively referring patients for further assistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/neu.2018.5792DOI Listing
March 2019

Bihemispheric alterations in myelination in children following unilateral perinatal stroke.

Neuroimage Clin 2018 27;20:7-15. Epub 2018 Jun 27.

Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; Department of Pediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: Stroke is a leading cause of perinatal brain injury with variable outcomes including cerebral palsy and epilepsy. The biological processes that underlie these heterogeneous outcomes are poorly understood. Alterations in developmental myelination are recognized as a major determinant of outcome in preterm brain injury but have not been explored in perinatal stroke. We aimed to characterize myelination in hemiparetic children after arterial perinatal stroke, hypothesizing that ipsilesional myelination would be impaired, the degree of which would correlate with poor outcome.

Methods: Retrospective, controlled cohort study. Participants were identified through the Alberta Perinatal Stroke Project (APSP), a population-based research cohort (n > 400). Inclusion criteria were: 1) MRI-confirmed, unilateral arterial perinatal stroke, 2) T1-weighted MRI after 6 months of age, 3) absence of other neurological disorders, 4) neurological outcome that included at least one of the following tests - Pediatric Stroke Outcome Measure (PSOM), Assisting Hand Assessment (AHA), Melbourne Assessment (MA), neuropsychological evaluation (NPE), and robotic sensorimotor measurements. FreeSurfer software measured hemispheric asymmetry in myelination intensity (primary outcome). A second method using ImageJ software validated the detection of myelination asymmetry. A repeated measures ANOVA was used to compare perilesional, ipsilesional remote, and contralesional homologous region myelination between stroke cases and typically developing controls. Myelination metrics were compared to clinical outcome measures (-test, Pearson's correlation).

Results: Twenty youth with arterial stroke (mean age: 13.4 ± 4.2yo) and 27 typically developing controls (mean age: 12.5 ± 3.7yo) were studied in FreeSurfer. Participants with stroke demonstrated lower myelination in the ipsilesional hemisphere (p < 0.0001). Myelination in perilesional regions had lower intensity compared to ipsilesional remote areas (p < .00001) and contralesional homologous areas (p < 0.00001). Ipsilesional remote regions had decreased myelination compared to homologous regions on the contralesional hemisphere (p = 0.016). Contralesional myelination was decreased compared to controls (p < 0.00001). Myelination metrics were not strongly associated with clinical motor, robotic sensorimotor, or neuropsychological outcomes though some complex tests requiring speeded responses had moderate effect sizes.

Conclusion: Myelination of apparently uninjured brain in both the ipsilesional and contralesional hemispheres is decreased after perinatal stroke. Differences appear to radiate outward from the lesion. Further study is needed to determine clinical significance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2018.06.028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6034585PMC
January 2019