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Researchers connect electrical brain disturbances to worse outcomes following neurotrauma
Date:5/19/2011

ts who required neurosurgery to treat their injuries were enrolled in the study. The electrode strip records computerized brainwaves similar to those of an EEG. But whereas EEG electrodes are placed on the scalp, spreading depolarization electrodes must be placed inside the skull, on the surface of the brain. The electrodes are removed three to seven days after implantation, without additional surgery.

New technology enabled the researchers not only to determine whether or not spreading depolarizations were occurring, but alsofor the first timeto measure their duration. "A new signal-processing technique that we developed allowed us to measure exactly how long the cerebral cortex remains short-circuited, or depolarized," Hartings says. "This measurementcalled the direct-current shift durationis a direct index of how harmful the depolarization is, and of the brain's degree of injury."

The signal-processing technique is a computer program that Hartings and his colleagues published in 2009 in the Journal of Neurophysiology.

The spreading depolarization grant is being issued through the DOD's Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (PH/TBI) Research Program (formerly known as the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/TBI Research Program). Hartings' co-investigator at UC is Lori Shutter, MD, director of the Neurocritical Care Program at UCNI and associate professor of neurosurgery and neurology at UC. Also participating are researchers at the University of Miami, University of Pittsburgh, Virginia Commonwealth University and King's College Hospital in London.

UC began enrolling patients in early 2009. Patients in the study are not U.S. soldiers, but rather individuals who have suffered brain injury through falls, vehicular accidents, or other misfortunes.


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Contact: Cindy Starr
cstarr@mayfieldclinic.com
513-558-3505
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Source:Eurekalert

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