Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Brain Sciences

Professor of Neurology



+44 (0)20 7594 Website




Professor Nick Oliver +44 (0)20 7594 1796




E315B - C3NLBurlington DanesHammersmith Campus





Publication Type

182 results found

Li B, Tan H, Jenkins D, Srinivasa Raghavan V, Gil Rosa B, Guder F, Pan G, Yeatman E, Sharp Det al., 2020, Clinical detection of neurodegenerative blood biomarkers using graphene immunosensor, Carbon, Vol: 168, Pages: 144-162, ISSN: 0008-6223

Accurate detection of blood biomarkers related to neurodegenerative diseases could provide a shortcut to identifying early stage patients before the onset of symptoms. The specificity, selectivity and operational requirements of the current technologies, however, preclude their use in the primary clinical setting for early detection. Graphene, an emerging 2D nanomaterial, is a promising candidate for biosensing which has the potential to meet the performance requirements and enable cost-effective, portable and rapid diagnosis. In this review, we compare graphene-based immunosensing technologies with conventional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and cutting-edge single molecule array techniques for the detection of blood-based neurodegenerative biomarkers. We cover the progress in electrical, electrochemical and optical graphene-based immunosensors and outline the barriers that slow or prevent the adoption of this emerging technology in primary clinical settings. We also highlight the possible solutions to overcome these barriers with an outlook on the future of the promising, graphene immunosensor technology.

Journal article

Foss L, Belli A, Brody D, Brookes M, Bull A, Craner M, Dunkley B, Evangelou N, Furlong P, Gibb I, Goldstone A, Green G, Hettiaratchy S, Hodgetts T, Lee R, Mistlin A, Nader K, Perl D, Reid A, Scadding J, Seri S, Sharp D, Sherwood D, Simms A, Sinclair A, Wessely S, Wilde E, Woods Det al., 2020, Setting a national consensus for managing mild and blast traumatic brain injury: post-meeting consensus report

A meeting was held on Wednesday 15 January 2020 to examine the current evidence for non-routine imaging and for neuroendocrine screening in the management of military personnel with brain injury and overlapping symptom domains. The Summit aimed to specifically address the relative utility of magnetoencephalography (MEG), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) in the UK context. This Consensus Report discusses points of consensus, points for further discussion/points of equipoise and recommendations that arose during, and following, the meeting.


Popescu SG, Whittington A, Gunn RN, Matthews PM, Glocker B, Sharp DJ, Cole JHet al., 2020, Nonlinear biomarker interactions in conversion from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease, HUMAN BRAIN MAPPING, ISSN: 1065-9471

Journal article

Yu X, Azor A, Sharp DJ, Mazdak Get al., 2020, Mechanisms of tensile failure of cerebrospinal fluid in blast traumatic brain injury, Extreme Mechanics Letters, Vol: 38, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 2352-4316

Mechanisms of blast-induced Traumatic Brain Injury (BTBI), particularly those linked to the primary pressure wave, are still not fully understood. One possible BTBI mechanism is cavitation in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) caused by CSF tensile failure, which is likely to increase strain and strain rate in the brain tissue near the CSF. Blast loading of the head can generate rarefaction (expansion) waves and rapid head motion, which both can produce tensile forces in the CSF. However, it is not clear which of these mechanisms is more likely to cause CSF tensile failure. In this study, we used a high-fidelity 3-dimensional computational model of the human head to test whether the CSF tensile failure increases brain deformation near the brain/CSF boundary and to determine the key failure mechanisms. We exposed the head model to a frontal blast wave and predicted strain and strain rate distribution in the cortex. We found that CSF tensile failure significantly increased strain and strain rate in the cortex. We then studied whether the rapid head motion or the rarefaction wave causes strain and strain rate concentration in cortex. We isolated these two effects by conducting simulations with pure head motion loading (i.e. prescribing the skull velocity but eliminating the pressure wave) and pure blast wave loading (i.e. eliminating head motion by fixing the skull base). Our results showed that the strain increase in the cortex was mainly caused by head motion. In contrast, strain rate increase was caused by both rapid head motion and rarefaction waves, but head motion had a stronger effect on elevating strain rate. Our results show that rapid motion of the head produced by blast wave is the key mechanism for CSF tensile failure and subsequent concentration of strain and strain rate in cortex. This finding suggests that mitigation of rapid head motion caused by blast loading needs to be addressed in the design of protective equipment in order to prevent the tensile failure

Journal article

Deb S, Crawford M, Sharp D, Leeson V, Aimola L, Li L, Weaver T, Bodani M, Bassett Pet al., Risperidone versus placebo for aggression following traumatic brain injury: a feasibility randomised controlled trial, BMJ Open, ISSN: 2044-6055

Objectives To conduct a feasibility randomised controlled trial of risperidone for the treatment of aggression in adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI).Design Multi-centre, parallel design, placebo controlled (1:1 ratio) double-blind feasibility trial with an embedded process evaluation. No statistical comparison was performed between the two study groups.Setting Four neuropsychiatric and neurology outpatient clinics in London and Kent, UK. Participants Our aim was to recruit 50 TBI patients over 18 months. Follow up participants at 12 weeks using a battery of assessment scales to measure changes in aggressive behaviour (MOAS-primary outcome, IRQ) as well as global functioning (GOS-E, CGI) and quality of life (EQ-5D-5L, SF-12), mental health (HADS) and medication adverse effects (UKU).Results Six participants were randomised to the active arm of the trial and eight to the placebo arm over a 10-month period (28% of our target). Two participants withdrew because of adverse events. Twelve out of 14 (85.7%) patients completed a follow up assessment at 12 weeks. At follow up, the scores of all outcome measures improved in both groups. Placebo group showed numerically better score change according to the primary outcome MOAS. No severe adverse events were reported. The overall rate of adverse events remained low. Data from the process evaluation suggest that existence of specialised TBI Follow-up clinics, availability of a dedicated database of TBI patients’ clinical details, simple study procedures and regular support to participants would enhance recruitment and retention in the trial. Feedback from participants showed that once in the study, they did not find the trial procedure onerous.Conclusions It was not feasible to conduct a successful randomised trial of risperidone versus placebo for post-TBI aggression using the methods we deployed in this study. It is not possible to draw any definitive conclusion about risperidone’s efficacy from such a sma

Journal article

Graham N, Junghans C, Downes R, Sendall C, Lai H, McKirdy A, Elliott P, Howard R, Wingfield D, Priestman M, Ciechonska M, Cameron L, Storch M, Crone MA, Freemont PS, Randell P, McLaren R, Lang N, Ladhani S, Sanderson F, Sharp DJet al., 2020, SARS-CoV-2 infection, clinical features and outcome of COVID-19 in United Kingdom nursing homes., Journal of Infection, ISSN: 0163-4453

OBJECTIVES: To understand SARS-Co-V-2 infection and transmission in UK nursing homes in order to develop preventive strategies for protecting the frail elderly residents. METHODS: An outbreak investigation involving 394 residents and 70 staff, was carried out in 4 nursing homes affected by COVID-19 outbreaks in central London. Two point-prevalence surveys were performed one week apart where residents underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing and had relevant symptoms documented. Asymptomatic staff from three of the four homes were also offered SARS-CoV-2 testing. RESULTS: Overall, 26% (95% CI 22 to 31) of residents died over the two-month period. All-cause mortality increased by 203% (95% CI 70 to 336) compared with previous years. Systematic testing identified 40% (95% CI 35 to 46) of residents as positive for SARS-CoV-2, and of these 43% (95% CI 34 to 52) were asymptomatic and 18% (95% CI 11 to 24) had only atypical symptoms; 4% (95% CI -1 to 9) of asymptomatic staff also tested positive. CONCLUSIONS: The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in four UK nursing homes was associated with very high infection and mortality rates. Many residents developed either atypical or no discernible symptoms. A number of asymptomatic staff members also tested positive, suggesting a role for regular screening of both residents and staff in mitigating future outbreaks.

Journal article

Hughes SW, Hellyer PJ, Sharp DJ, Newbould RD, Patel MC, Strutton PHet al., 2020, Diffusion tensor imaging of lumbar spinal nerves reveals changes in microstructural integrity following decompression surgery associated with improvements in clinical symptoms: A case report, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Vol: 69, Pages: 65-70, ISSN: 0730-725X

The outcomes from spinal nerve decompression surgery are highly variable with a sizable proportion of elderly foraminal stenosis patients not regaining good pain relief. A better understanding of nerve root compression before and following decompression surgery and whether these changes are mirrored by improvements in symptoms may help to improve clinical decision-making processes. This case study used a combination of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), clinical questionnaires and motor neurophysiology assessments before and up to 3 months following spinal decompression surgery. In this case report, a 70-year-old women with compression of the left L5 spinal nerve root in the L5-S1 exit foramina was recruited to the study. At 3 months following surgery, DTI revealed marked improvements in left L5 microstructural integrity to a similar level to that seen in the intact right L5 nerve root. This was accompanied by a gradual improvement in pain-related symptoms, mood and disability score by 3 months. Using this novel multimodal approach, it may be possible to track concurrent improvements in pain-related symptoms, function and microstructural integrity of compressed nerves in elderly foraminal stenosis patients undergoing decompression surgery.

Journal article

Graham NSN, Junghans C, Downes R, Sendall C, Lai H, McKirdy A, Elliott P, Howard R, Wingfield D, Priestman M, Ciechonska M, Cameron L, Storch M, Crone M, Freemont P, Randell P, McLaren R, Lang N, Ladhani S, Sanderson F, Sharp DJet al., 2020, SARS-CoV-2 infection, clinical features and outcome of COVID-19 in United Kingdom nursing homes, Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

<jats:p>Objectives:To understand SARS-Co-V-2 infection and transmission in UK nursing homes in order to develop preventive strategies for protecting the frail elderly residents. Design:An outbreak investigation.Setting:4 nursing homes affected by COVID-19 outbreaks in central London. Participants: 394 residents and 70 staff in nursing homes.Interventions:Two point-prevalence surveys one week apart where residents underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing and had relevant symptoms documented. Asymptomatic staff from three of the four homes were also offered SARS-CoV-2 testing.Main outcome measures:All-cause mortality, and mortality attributed to COVID-19 on death certificates. Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and symptoms in residents and staff. Results:Overall, 26% (95% confidence interval 22 to 31) of residents died over the two-month period. All-cause mortality increased by 203% (95% CI 70 to 336). Systematic testing identified 40% (95% CI 35 to 46) of residents, of whom 43% (95% CI 34 to 52) were asymptomatic and 18% (95% CI 11 to 24) had atypical symptoms, as well as 4% (95% CI -1 to 9) of asymptomatic staff who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.Conclusions:The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak was associated with a very high mortality rate in residents of nursing homes. Systematic testing of all residents and a representative sample of staff identified high rates of SARS-CoV-2 positivity across the four nursing homes, highlighting a potential for regular screening to prevent future outbreaks.</jats:p>

Working paper

Jenkins P, Roussakis A-A, De Simoni S, Bourke N, Fleminger J, Cole J, Piccini P, Sharp Det al., 2020, Distinct dopaminergic abnormalities in traumatic brain injury and Parkinson’s disease, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Vol: 91, Pages: 631-637, ISSN: 0022-3050

Objective: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and REM behavioural disorder (RBD) are risk factors for Parkinson’s disease (PD). Dopaminergic abnormalities are often seen after TBI, but patients usually lack parkinsonian features. We test whether TBI, PD and RBD have distinct striatal dopamine abnormalities using dopamine transporter imaging. Methods: 123I-ioflupane SPECT scans were used in a cross-sectional study to measure dopamine transporter (DaT) levels in moderate/severe TBI, healthy controls, early PD and RBD patients. Caudate and putamen DaT, putamen-to-caudate ratios and left-right symmetry of DaT were compared.Results: 108 participants (43 TBI, 26 PD, 8 RBD, 31 controls) were assessed. Early PD patients scored significantly higher on the UPDRS motor subscale than other groups. TBI and PD patients had reduced DaT levels in the caudate (12.2% and 18.7% respectively) and putamen (9.0% and 42.6% respectively) compared to controls. RBD patients had reduced DaT levels in the putamen (12.8%) but not in the caudate compared to controls. PD and TBI patients showed distinct patterns of DaT reduction, with PD patients showing a lower putamen-to-caudate ratio. DaT asymmetry was greater in the PD group than other groups. Conclusions: The results show that early PD and TBI patients have distinct patterns of striatal dopamine abnormalities. Early PD and moderate/severe TBI patients showed similar reductions in caudate DaT binding, but PD patients showed a greater reduction in putamen DaT and a lower putamen-to-caudate ratio. The results suggest that parkinsonian motor signs are absent in these TBI patients because of relatively intact putaminal dopamine levels.

Journal article

Jolly A, Scott G, Sharp D, Hampshire Aet al., 2020, Distinct patterns of structural damage underlie working memory and reasoning deficits after traumatic brain injury, Brain: a journal of neurology, Vol: 143, Pages: 1158-1176, ISSN: 0006-8950

It is well established that chronic cognitive problems after traumatic brain injury (TBI) relate to diffuse axonal injury (DAI) and the consequent widespread disruption of brain connectivity. However, the pattern of DAI varies between patients and they have a correspondingly heterogeneous profile of cognitive deficits. This heterogeneity is poorly understood, presenting a non-trivial challenge for prognostication and treatment. Prominent amongst cognitive problems are deficits in working memory and reasoning. Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in controls has associated these aspects of cognition with distinct, but partially overlapping, networks of brain regions. Based on this, a logical prediction is that differences in the integrity of the white matter tracts that connect these networks should predict variability in the type and severity of cognitive deficits after TBI.We use diffusion-weighted imaging, cognitive testing and network analyses to test this prediction. We define functionally distinct sub-networks of the structural connectome by intersecting previously published fMRI maps of the brain regions that are activated during our working memory and reasoning tasks, with a library of the white-matter tracts that connect them. We examine how graph theoretic measures within these sub-networks relate to the performance of the same tasks in a cohort of 92 moderate-severe TBI patients. Finally, we use machine learning to determine whether cognitive performance in patients can be predicted using graph theoretic measures from each sub-network.Principal component analysis of behavioural scores confirm that reasoning and working memory form distinct components of cognitive ability, both of which are vulnerable to TBI. Critically, impairments in these abilities after TBI correlate in a dissociable manner with the information-processing architecture of the sub-networks that they are associated with. This dissociation is confirmed when examining degree

Journal article

De Francesco D, Choi J-P, Choi JY, van Zoest RA, Underwood J, Schouten J, Ku NS, Kim WJ, Reiss P, Sabin CA, Winston A, Reiss P, Winston A, Wit FW, Prins M, van der Loeff MFS, Schouten J, Schmand B, Geurtsen GJ, Sharp DJ, Caan MWA, Majoie C, Villaudy J, Berkhout B, Kootstra NA, Gisslen M, Pasternak A, Sabin CA, Guaraldi G, Burkle A, Libert C, Franceschi C, Kalsbeek A, Fliers E, Hoeijmakers J, Pothof J, van der Valk M, Bisschop PH, Portegies P, Zaheri S, Burger D, Reiss P, Winston A, Wit FW, Cole JH, Caan MWA, Villaudy J, Kootstra NA, van der Loeff MFS, Gisslen M, Sabin CA, Burkle A, Zikkenheiner W, Reiss P, Zikkenheiner W, Wit FW, Janssen FR, Winston A, Wit FW, Underwood J, Schouten J, Kooij KW, van Zoest RA, Doyle N, Prins M, van der Loeff MS, Portegies P, Schmand BA, Geurtsen GJ, Verheij E, Verboeket SO, Elsenga BC, van der Valk M, Zaheri S, Hillebregt MMJ, Ruijs YMC, Benschop DP, Tembo L, McDonald L, Stott M, Legg K, Lovell A, Erlwein O, Kingsley C, Norsworthy P, Mullaney S, Kruijer T, del Grande L, Olthof V, Visser GR, May L, Verbraak F, Demirkaya N, Visser I, Guaraldi G, Sharp DJ, Caan MWA, Cole JH, Majoie CBLM, Su T, Leech R, Huguet J, Villaudy J, Frankin E, Pasternak A, Berkhout B, van der Kuyl A, Weijer K, Siteur-Van Rijnstra E, Kootstra NA, Gisslen M, Harskamp-Holwerda AM, Maurer I, Ruiz MMM, Girigorie AF, Boeser-Nunnink B, Kalsbeek A, Bisschop PHLT, Burger D, de Graaff-Teulen M, Hoeijmakers J, Pothof J, Libert C, Dewaele S, Franceschi C, Garagnani P, Pirazzini C, Capri M, Dall'Olio F, Chiricolo M, Salvioli S, Fuchs D, Zetterberg H, Weber D, Grune T, Jansen EHJM, Sabin CA, De Francesco D, Wit FW, Burkle A, Sindlinger T, Oehlke S, Zikkenheiner W, van Zoest RAet al., 2019, Cognitive function and drivers of cognitive impairment in a European and a Korean cohort of people living with HIV, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STD & AIDS, Vol: 31, Pages: 30-37, ISSN: 0956-4624

Journal article

Underwood J, De Francesco D, Koostra N, Caan MWA, Cole JH, Caan M, Wit FWMN, Sharp DJ, Reiss P, Sabin CA, Winston Aet al., 2019, Higher anti-CMV IgG concentrations are not associated with longitudinal brain injury in virally suppressed people with HIV, Publisher: WILEY, Pages: 139-140, ISSN: 1464-2662

Conference paper

Graham NSN, Sharp DJ, 2019, Understanding neurodegeneration after traumatic brain injury: from mechanisms to clinical trials in dementia, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, Vol: 90, ISSN: 0022-3050

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) leads to increased rates of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The mechanisms by which trauma can trigger neurodegeneration are increasingly understood. For example, diffuse axonal injury is implicated in disrupting microtubule function, providing the potential context for pathologies of tau and amyloid to develop. The neuropathology of post-traumatic dementias is increasingly well characterised, with recent work focusing on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). However, clinical diagnosis of post-traumatic dementia is problematic. It is often difficult to disentangle the direct effects of TBI from those produced by progressive neurodegeneration or other post-traumatic sequelae such as psychiatric impairment. CTE can only be confidently identified at postmortem and patients are often confused and anxious about the most likely cause of their post-traumatic problems. A new approach to the assessment of the long-term effects of TBI is needed. Accurate methods are available for the investigation of other neurodegenerative conditions. These should be systematically employed in TBI. MRI and positron emission tomography neuroimaging provide biomarkers of neurodegeneration which may be of particular use in the postinjury setting. Brain atrophy is a key measure of disease progression and can be used to accurately quantify neuronal loss. Fluid biomarkers such as neurofilament light can complement neuroimaging, representing sensitive potential methods to track neurodegenerative processes that develop after TBI. These biomarkers could characterise endophenotypes associated with distinct types of post-traumatic neurodegeneration. In addition, they might profitably be used in clinical trials of neuroprotective and disease-modifying treatments, improving trial design by providing precise and sensitive measures of neuronal loss.

Journal article

Li L, Violante I, Zimmerman K, Leech R, Hampshire A, Patel M, Opitz A, McArthur D, Carmichael D, Sharp DJet al., 2019, Traumatic axonal injury influences the cognitive effect of non-invasive brain stimulation, Brain, Vol: 142, Pages: 3280-3293, ISSN: 1460-2156

Non-invasive brain stimulation has been widely investigated for as a potentialtreatment for a range of neurological and psychiatric conditions, including braininjury. However, the behavioural effects of brain stimulation are very variable, forreasons that are poorly understood. This is a particular challenge for traumatic braininjury, where patterns of damage and their clinical effects are heterogenous. Here wetest the hypothesis that the response to transcranial direct current stimulationfollowing traumatic brain injury is dependent on white matter damage within thestimulated network. We used a novel simultaneous stimulation-MRI protocolapplying anodal, cathodal and sham stimulation to 24 healthy and 35 moderate/severetraumatic brain injury patients. Stimulation was applied to the right inferior frontalgyrus/anterior insula node of the Salience Network, which was targeted because ourprevious work had shown its importance to executive function. Stimulation wasapplied during performance of the Stop Signal Task, which assesses responseinhibition, a key component of executive function. Structural MRI was used to assessthe extent of brain injury, including diffusion MRI assessment of post-traumaticaxonal injury. Functional MRI, which was simultaneously acquired to delivery ofstimulation, assessed the effects of stimulation on cognitive network function. Anodalstimulation improved response inhibition in control participants, an effect that was notobserved in the patient group. The extent of traumatic axonal injury within theSalience Network strongly influenced the behavioural response to stimulation.Increasing damage to the tract connecting the stimulated right inferior frontalgyrus/anterior insula to the rest of the SN was associated with reduced beneficialeffects of stimulation. In addition, anodal stimulation normalised Default ModeNetwork activation in patients with poor response inhibition, suggesting thatstimulation modulates communication between the networks invo

Journal article

Sridharan S, Raffel J, Nandoskar A, Record C, Brooks DJ, Owen D, Sharp D, Muraro PA, Gunn R, Nicholas Ret al., 2019, Confirmation of specific binding of the 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) radioligand [18F]GE-180: a blocking study using XBD173 in multiple sclerosis normal appearing white and grey matter, Molecular Imaging and Biology, Vol: 21, Pages: 935-944, ISSN: 1536-1632

Purpose: Positron emission tomography (PET) ligands exhibit different levels of non-displaceable binding in vivo. In the case of ligands for the 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO), the component of non-displaceable binding for the most widely used radiotracer, [11C]-(R)-PK11195, is relatively high compared to that for newer TSPO ligands. Non-displaceable binding is not often quantified in humans in vivo, partially due to a lack of available ligands that are known to be safe with which to displace binding to the target receptor. Recently, however, a technique has been developed to quantify the non-displaceable binding of TSPO tracers in vivo, by blocking the receptor with the TSPO ligand XBD173 and comparing the total volume of distribution ( ) pre and post-blockade. Here, we used an occupancy plot to quantify the non-displaceable binding ( ) of the TSPO PET tracers [18F]GE-180 and [11C]PBR28 in cohorts of people with multiple sclerosis (MS). We also compared plots of subjects carrying both high and mixed binding affinity polymorphisms of TSPO to estimate while potentially avoiding the need for receptor blockade.Procedures: Twelve people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and high (HAB) or mixed (MAB) affinity binding for TSPO underwent baseline MRI and 90-minute dynamic [18F]GE-180 PET (n=6; 3 HAB and 3 MAB) or [11C]PBR28 PET (n=6; 3 HAB, 3 MAB). Either one week later ([18F]GE-180) or the same afternoon ([11C]PBR28), participants had repeat PET following a 90mg dose of XBD173. PET images were co-registered with T1 MR volumetric images and regions of interest (ROIs) were defined using the 83-region Hammers atlas. Arterial blood sampling was used to generate plasma input functions for the two-tissue compartment model to quantify . The non-displaceable fraction of the total volume of distribution ( ) was calculated using two independent methods: the occupancy plot (by modelling the differences in signal post XBD173), and the polymorphism plot (by modelling the differences in

Journal article

Gorgoraptis N, Li LM, Whittington A, Zimmerman KA, Maclean LM, McLeod C, Ross E, Heslegrave A, Zetterberg H, Passchier J, Matthews PM, Gunn RN, McMillan TM, Sharp DJet al., 2019, In vivo detection of cerebral tau pathology in long-term survivors of traumatic brain injury, Science Translational Medicine, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 1946-6234

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can trigger progressive neurodegeneration, with tau pathology seen years after a single moderate-severe TBI. Identifying this type of posttraumatic pathology in vivo might help to understand the role of tau pathology in TBI pathophysiology. We used flortaucipir positron emission tomography (PET) to investigate whether tau pathology is present many years after a single TBI in humans. We examined PET data in relation to markers of neurodegeneration in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), structural magnetic resonance imaging measures, and cognitive performance. Cerebral flortaucipir binding was variable, with many participants with TBI showing increases in cortical and white matter regions. At the group level, flortaucipir binding was increased in the right occipital cortex in TBI when compared to healthy controls. Flortaucipir binding was associated with increased total tau, phosphorylated tau, and ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase L1 CSF concentrations, as well as with reduced fractional anisotropy and white matter tissue density in TBI. Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 genotype affected the relationship between flortaucipir binding and time since injury, CSF β amyloid 1–42 (Aβ42) concentration, white matter tissue density, and longitudinal Mini-Mental State Examination scores in TBI. The results demonstrate that tau PET is a promising approach to investigating progressive neurodegeneration associated with tauopathy after TBI.

Journal article

Jolly AE, Raymont V, Cole JH, Whittington A, Scott G, De Simoni S, Searle G, Gunn RN, Sharp DJet al., 2019, Dopamine D2/D3 receptor abnormalities after traumatic brain injury and their relationship to post-traumatic depression, NeuroImage: Clinical, Vol: 24, ISSN: 2213-1582

ObjectiveTo investigate dopamine D2/D3 receptor availability following traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their relationship to the presence of DSM-IV Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and patterns of axonal injury.MethodsTwelve moderate-severe TBI patients and 26 controls were imaged using [11C]PHNO positron emission tomography (PET) and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). TBI patients and a second group of 32 controls also underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and neuropsychological assessment. Patients included six with post-injury MDD (TBI-MDD) and six without (TBI-NON). Non-displaceable binding potential (BPND) [11C]PHNO values were used to index D2/D3 receptor availability, and were calculated using a reference region procedure. Differences in BPND were examined using voxelwise and region-of-interest analyses. White matter microstructure integrity, quantified by fractional anisotropy (FA), was assessed and correlated with BPND.ResultsLower [11C]PHNO BPND was found in the caudate across all TBI patients when compared to controls. Lower [11C]PHNO BPND was observed in the caudate of TBI-MDD patients and increased [11C]PHNO BPND in the Amygdala of TBI-NON patients compared to controls. There were no significant differences in [11C]PHNO BPND between TBI-MDD and TBI-NON patients. Furthermore, DTI provided evidence of axonal injury following TBI. The uncinate fasciculus and cingulum had abnormally low FA, with the uncinate particularly affected in TBI-MDD patients. Caudate [11C]PHNO BPND correlated with FA within the nigro-caudate tract.Conclusions[11C]PHNO BPND is abnormal following TBI, which indicates post-traumatic changes in D2/D3 receptors. Patterns of [11C]PHNO BPND seen in patients with and without MDD suggest that further research would be beneficial to determine whether the use of dopaminergic treatment might be effective in the treatment of post-traumatic depression.

Journal article

Gorgoraptis N, Zaw-Linn J, Feeney C, Tenorio-Jimenez C, Niemi M, Malik A, Ham T, Goldstone AP, Sharp DJet al., 2019, Cognitive impairment and health- related quality of life following traumatic brain injury, Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Vol: 44, Pages: 321-331, ISSN: 1387-2877

BACKGROUNDCognitive impairment is a common and disabling consequence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) but its impact on health-related quality of life is not well understood.OBJECTIVETo investigate the relationship between cognitive impairment and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) after TBI.METHODSRetrospective, cross-sectional study of a specialist TBI outpatient clinic patient sample. Outcome measures: Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination Tool - Revised (ACE-R), and SF-36 quality of life, Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) questionnaires.RESULTS240 adults were assessed: n = 172 (71.7% ) moderate-severe, 41 (23.8% ) mild, 27 (11.3% ) symptomatic TBI, 174 (72.5% ) male, median age (range): 44 (22-91) years. TBI patients reported poorer scores on all domains of SF-36 compared to age-matched UK normative data. Cognitively impaired patients reported poorer HRQoL on the physical, social role and emotional role functioning, and mental health domains. Cognitive impairment predicted poorer HRQoL on the social and emotional role functioning domains, independently of depressive symptoms, sleep disturbance, daytime sleepiness and TBI severity. Mediation analysis revealed that the effect of depressive symptoms on the emotional role functioning domain of HRQoL was partially mediated by cognitive dysfunction.CONCLUSIONCognitive impairment is associated with worse health-related quality of life after TBI and partially mediates the effect of depressive symptoms on emotional role functioning.

Journal article

Jenkins PO, De Simoni S, Bourke NJ, Fleminger J, Scott G, Towey DJ, Svensson W, Khan S, Patel MC, Greenwood R, Friedland D, Hampshire A, Cole JH, Sharp DJet al., 2019, Stratifying drug treatment of cognitive impairments after traumatic brain injury using neuroimaging, Brain, Vol: 142, Pages: 2367-2379, ISSN: 1460-2156

Cognitive impairment is common following traumatic brain injury. Dopaminergic drugs can enhance cognition after traumatic brain injury, but individual responses are highly variable. This may be due to variability in dopaminergic damage between patients. We investigate whether measuring dopamine transporter levels using 123I-ioflupane single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) predicts response to methylphenidate, a stimulant with dopaminergic effects. Forty patients with moderate-severe traumatic brain injury and cognitive impairments completed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. 123I-ioflupane SPECT, MRI and neuropsychological testing were performed. Patients received 0.3 mg/kg of methylphenidate or placebo twice a day in 2-week blocks. Subjects received neuropsychological assessment after each block and completed daily home cognitive testing during the trial. The primary outcome measure was change in choice reaction time produced by methylphenidate and its relationship to stratification of patients into groups with normal and low dopamine transporter binding in the caudate. Overall, traumatic brain injury patients showed slow information processing speed. Patients with low caudate dopamine transporter binding showed improvement in response times with methylphenidate compared to placebo [median change = -16 ms; 95% confidence interval (CI): -28 to -3 ms; P = 0.02]. This represents a 27% improvement in the slowing produced by traumatic brain injury. Patients with normal dopamine transporter binding did not improve. Daily home-based choice reaction time results supported this: the low dopamine transporter group improved (median change -19 ms; 95% CI: -23 to -7 ms; P = 0.002) with no change in the normal dopamine transporter group (P = 0.50). The low dopamine transporter group also improved on self-reported and caregiver apathy assessments (P = 0.03 and P = 0.02, respectively). Both groups reported improvements in fatigue (P = 0.03

Journal article

Molero Y, Larsson H, D'Onofrio BM, Sharp DJ, Fazel Set al., 2019, Associations between gabapentinoids and suicidal behaviour, unintentional overdoses, injuries, road traffic incidents, and violent crime: population based cohort study in Sweden, BMJ, Vol: 365, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 0959-8138

OBJECTIVE: To examine associations between gabapentinoids and adverse outcomes related to coordination disturbances (head or body injuries, or both and road traffic incidents or offences), mental health (suicidal behaviour, unintentional overdoses), and criminality. DESIGN: Population based cohort study. SETTING: High quality prescription, patient, death, and crime registers, Sweden. PARTICIPANTS: 191 973 people from the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register who collected prescriptions for gabapentinoids (pregabalin or gabapentin) during 2006 to 2013. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcomes were suicidal behaviour, unintentional overdoses, head/body injuries, road traffic incidents and offences, and arrests for violent crime. Stratified Cox proportional hazards regression was conducted comparing treatment periods with non-treatment periods within an individual. Participants served as their own control, thus accounting for time invariant factors (eg, genetic and historical factors), and reducing confounding by indication. Additional adjustments were made by age, sex, comorbidities, substance use, and use of other antiepileptics. RESULTS: During the study period, 10 026 (5.2%) participants were treated for suicidal behaviour or died from suicide, 17 144 (8.9%) experienced an unintentional overdose, 12 070 (6.3%) had a road traffic incident or offence, 70 522 (36.7%) presented with head/body injuries, and 7984 (4.1%) were arrested for a violent crime. In within-individual analyses, gabapentinoid treatment was associated with increased hazards of suicidal behaviour and deaths from suicide (age adjusted hazard ratio 1.26, 95% confidence interval 1.20 to 1.32), unintentional overdoses (1.24, 1.19 to 1.28), head/body injuries (1.22, 1.19 to 1.25), and road traffic incidents and offences (1.13, 1.06 to 1.20). Associations with arrests for violent crime were less clear (1.04, 0.98 to 1.11). When the drugs were examined separately, pregabalin was

Journal article

Underwood J, de francesco D, Cole JH, Caan MWA, Van Zoest RA, Schmand BA, Sharp D, Sabin CA, Reiss P, Winston Aet al., 2019, Validation of a novel multivariate method of defining HIV-associated cognitive impairment, Open Forum Infectious Diseases, Vol: 6, ISSN: 2328-8957

BackgroundThe optimum method of defining cognitive impairment in virally suppressed people-living-with-HIV is unknown. We evaluated the relationships between cognitive impairment, including using a novel multivariate method (NMM), patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) and neuroimaging markers of brain structure across three cohorts.MethodsDifferences in the prevalence of cognitive impairment, PROMs and neuroimaging data from the COBRA, CHARTER and POPPY cohorts (total n=908) were determined between HIV-positive participants with and without cognitive impairment defined using the HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), global deficit score (GDS) and NMM criteria.ResultsThe prevalence of cognitive impairment varied by up to 27% between methods used to define impairment (e.g. 48% for HAND vs. 21% for NMM in the CHARTER study). Associations between objective cognitive impairment and subjective cognitive complaints were generally weak. Physical and mental health summary scores (SF-36) were lowest for NMM-defined impairment (p’s<0.05).There were no differences in brain volumes or cortical thickness between participants with and without cognitive impairment defined using the HAND and GDS measures. In contrast, those identified with cognitive impairment by the NMM had reduced mean cortical thickness in both hemispheres (p’s<0.05), as well as smaller brain volumes (p<0.01). The associations with measures of white matter microstructure and brain-predicted age were generally weaker.ConclusionDifferent methods of defining cognitive impairment identify different people with varying symptomatology and measures of brain injury. Overall, NMM-defined impairment was associated with most neuroimaging abnormalities and poorer self-reported health status. This may be due to the statistical advantage of using a multivariate approach.

Journal article

Hughes SW, Hellyer PJ, Sharp DJ, Newbould RD, Patel MC, Strutton PHet al., 2019, Diffusion tensor imaging reveals changes in microstructural integrity along compressed nerve roots that correlate with chronic pain symptoms and motor deficiencies in elderly stenosis patients, NeuroImage: Clinical, Vol: 23, ISSN: 2213-1582

Age-related degenerative changes in the lumbar spine frequently result in nerve root compression causing severe pain and disability. Given the increasing incidence of lumbar spinal disorders in the aging population and the discrepancies between the use of current diagnostic imaging tools and clinical symptoms, novel methods of nerve root assessment are needed. We investigated elderly patients with stenosis at L4-L5 or L5-S1 levels. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was used to quantify microstructure in compressed L5 nerve roots and investigate relationships to clinical symptoms and motor neurophysiology. DTI metrics (i.e. FA, MD, AD and RD) were measured at proximal, mid and distal segments along compressed (i.e. L5) and intact (i.e. L4 or S1) nerve roots. FA was significantly reduced in compressed nerve roots and MD, AD and RD were significantly elevated in the most proximal segment of the nerve root studied. FA was significantly correlated with electrophysiological measures of root function: minimum F-wave latency and peripheral motor conduction time (PMCT). In addition, FA along the compressed root also correlated with leg pain and depression score. There was also a relationship between RD and anxiety, leg pain and disability score and AD correlated with depression score. Taken together, these data show that DTI metrics are sensitive to nerve root compression in patients with stenosis as a result of age-related lumbar degeneration. Critically, they show that the changes in microstructural integrity along compressed L5 nerve roots are closely related to a number of clinical symptoms associated with the development of chronic pain as well as neurophysiological assessments of motor function. These inherent relationships between nerve root damage and phenotype suggest that the use DTI is a promising method as a way to stratify treatment selection and predict outcomes.

Journal article

Laverse E, Zimmerman K, Guo T, Samra R, Hardy J, Zetterberg H, Sharp D, Morris Het al., 2019, Plasma NF-L, tau, GFAP and advanced MRI imaging in the evaluation of mild Traumatic Brain Injury in a prospective cohort of active rugby players, 71st Annual Meeting of the American-Academy-of-Neurology (AAN), Publisher: LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, ISSN: 0028-3878

Conference paper

Underwood J, De Francesco D, Cole J, Wit F, Sharp D, Sabin C, Reiss P, Winston Aet al., 2019, Antiretroviral central nervous system toxicity, British HIV Association, Publisher: WILEY, Pages: 36-36, ISSN: 1464-2662

Conference paper

Siegkas P, Sharp D, Ghajari M, 2019, The traumatic brain injury mitigation effects of a new viscoelastic add-on liner, Scientific Reports, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2045-2322

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects millions of people worldwide with significant personal and social consequences. New materials and methods offer opportunities for improving designs of TBI prevention systems, such as helmets. We combined empirical impact tests and computational modelling to test the effectiveness of new viscoelastic add-on components in decreasing biomechanical forces within the brain during helmeted head impacts. Motorcycle helmets with and without the viscoelastic components were fitted on a head/neck assembly and were tested under oblique impact to replicate realistic accident conditions. Translational and rotational accelerations were measured during the tests. The inclusion of components reduced peak accelerations, with a significant effect for frontal impacts and a marginal effect for side and rear impacts. The head accelerations were then applied on a computational model of TBI to predict strain and strain-rate across the brain. The presence of viscoelastic components in the helmet decreased strain and strain-rate for frontal impacts at low impact speeds. The effect was less pronounced for front impact at high speeds and for side and rear impacts. This work shows the potential of the viscoelastic add-on components as lightweight and cost-effective solutions for enhancing helmet protection and decreasing strain and strain-rate across the brain during head impacts.

Journal article

Li L, Ribeiro Violante I, Leech R, Ross E, Hampshire A, Opitz A, Rothwell J, Carmichael D, Sharp Det al., 2019, Brain state and polarity dependent modulation of brain networks by transcranial direct current stimulation, Human Brain Mapping, Vol: 40, Pages: 904-915, ISSN: 1065-9471

Despite its widespread use in cognitive studies, there is still limited understanding of whether and how transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) modulates brain network function. To clarify its physiological effects, we assessed brain network function using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) simultaneously acquired during tDCS stimulation. Cognitive state was manipulated by having subjects perform a Choice Reaction Task or being at “rest.” A novel factorial design was used to assess the effects of brain state and polarity. Anodal and cathodal tDCS were applied to the right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG), a region involved in controlling activity large‐scale intrinsic connectivity networks during switches of cognitive state. tDCS produced widespread modulation of brain activity in a polarity and brain state dependent manner. In the absence of task, the main effect of tDCS was to accentuate default mode network (DMN) activation and salience network (SN) deactivation. In contrast, during task performance, tDCS increased SN activation. In the absence of task, the main effect of anodal tDCS was more pronounced, whereas cathodal tDCS had a greater effect during task performance. Cathodal tDCS also accentuated the within‐DMN connectivity associated with task performance. There were minimal main effects of stimulation on network connectivity. These results demonstrate that rIFG tDCS can modulate the activity and functional connectivity of large‐scale brain networks involved in cognitive function, in a brain state and polarity dependent manner. This study provides an important insight into mechanisms by which tDCS may modulate cognitive function, and also has implications for the design of future stimulation studies.

Journal article

De Francesco D, Wit FW, Burkle A, Oehlke S, Kootstra NA, Winston A, Franceschi C, Garagnani P, Pirazzini C, Libert C, Grune T, Weber D, Jansen EHJM, Sabin CA, Reiss P, Reiss P, Winston A, Wit FW, Prins M, van der Loeff MFS, Schouten J, Schmand B, Geurtsen GJ, Sharp DJ, Caan MWA, Majoie C, Villaudy J, Berkhout B, Kootstra NA, Gisslen M, Pasternak A, Sabin CA, Guaraldi G, Burkle A, Libert C, Franceschi C, Kalsbeek A, Fliers E, Hoeijmakers J, Pothof J, van der Valk M, Bisschop PH, Portegies P, Zaheri S, Burger D, Cole JH, Biirkle A, Zikkenheiner W, Janssen FR, Underwood J, Kooij KW, van Zoest RA, Doyle N, van der Loeff MS, Schmand BA, Verheij E, Verboeket SO, Elsenga BC, Hillebregt MMJ, Ruijs YMC, Benschop DP, Tembo L, McDonald L, Stott M, Legg K, Lovell A, Erlwein O, Kingsley C, Norsworthy P, Mullaney S, Kruijer T, del Grande L, Olthof V, Visser GR, May L, Verbraak F, Demirkaya N, Visser I, Majoie CBLM, Su T, Leech R, Huguet J, Frankin E, van der Kuyl A, Weijer K, Siteur-Van Rijnstra E, Harskamp-Holwerda AM, Maurer I, Ruiz MMM, Girigorie AF, Boeser-Nunnink B, Kals-Beek A, Bisschop PHLT, de Graaff-Teulen M, Dewaele S, Garagnani P, Pirazzini C, Capri M, Dall'Olio F, Chiricolo M, Salvioli S, Fuchs D, Zetterberg H, Weber D, Grune T, Jansen EHJM, De Francesco D, Sindlinger T, Oehlke Set al., 2019, Do people living with HIV experience greater age advancement than their HIV-negative counterparts?, AIDS, Vol: 33, Pages: 259-268, ISSN: 0269-9370

Objectives: Despite successful antiretroviral therapy, people living with HIV (PLWH)may show signs of premature/accentuated aging. We compared established biomarkersof aging in PLWH, appropriately chosen HIV-negative individuals, and blood donors,and explored factors associated with biological age advancement.Design: Cross-sectional analysis of 134 PLWH on suppressive antiretroviral therapy, 79lifestyle-comparable HIV-negative controls aged 45 years or older from the Co-morBidity in Relation to AIDS (COBRA) cohort, and 35 age-matched blood donors.Methods: Biological age was estimated using a validated algorithm based on 10biomarkers. Associations between ‘age advancement’ (biological minus chronological age) and HIV status/parameters, lifestyle, cytomegalovirus (CMV), hepatitisB (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections were investigated using linear regression.Results: The average (95% CI) age advancement was greater in both HIV-positive [13.2(11.6–14.9) years] and HIV-negative [5.5 (3.8–7.2) years] COBRA participants comparedwith blood donors [7.0 (4.1 to 9.9) years, both P’s< 0.001)], but also in HIV-positivecompared with HIV-negative participants (P < 0.001). Chronic HBV, higher anti-CMVIgG titer and CD8þ T-cell count were each associated with increased age advancement, independently of HIV-status/group. Among HIV-positive participants, ageadvancement was increased by 3.5 (0.1–6.8) years among those with nadir CD4þT-cell count less than 200 cells/ml and by 0.1 (0.06–0.2) years for each additionalmonth of exposure to saquinavir.

Journal article

Li L, Ribeiro Violante I, Leech R, Hampshire A, Opitz A, McArhur D, Carmichael D, Sharp Det al., 2019, Cognitive enhancement with Salience Network electrical stimulation is influenced by network structural connectivity, NeuroImage, Vol: 185, Pages: 425-433, ISSN: 1053-8119

The Salience Network (SN) and its interactions are important for cognitive control. We have previously shown that structural damage to the SN is associated with abnormal functional connectivity between the SN and Default Mode Network (DMN), abnormal DMN deactivation, and impaired response inhibition, which is an important aspect of cognitive control. This suggests that stimulating the SN might enhance cognitive control. Here, we tested whether non-invasive transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) could be used to modulate activity within the SN and enhance cognitive control. TDCS was applied to the right inferior frontal gyrus/anterior insula cortex during performance of the Stop Signal Task (SST) and concurrent functional (f)MRI. Anodal TDCS improved response inhibition. Furthermore, stratification of participants based on SN structural connectivity showed that it was an important influence on both behavioural and physiological responses to anodal TDCS. Participants with high fractional anisotropy within the SN showed improved SST performance and increased activation of the SN with anodal TDCS, whilst those with low fractional anisotropy within the SN did not. Cathodal stimulation of the SN produced activation of the right caudate, an effect which was not modulated by SN structural connectivity. Our results show that stimulation targeted to the SN can improve response inhibition, supporting the causal influence of this network on cognitive control and confirming it as a target to produce cognitive enhancement. Our results also highlight the importance of structural connectivity as a modulator of network to TDCS, which should guide the design and interpretation of future stimulation studies.

Journal article

Lally PJ, Montaldo P, Oliveira V, Soe A, Swamy R, Bassett P, Mendoza J, Atreja G, Kariholu U, Pattnayak S, Sashikumar P, Harizaj H, Mitchell M, Ganesh V, Harigopal S, Dixon J, English P, Clarke P, Muthukumar P, Satodia P, Wayte S, Abernethy LJ, Yajamanyam K, Bainbridge A, Price D, Huertas A, Sharp DJ, Kalra V, Chawla S, Shankaran S, Thayyil Set al., 2019, Magnetic resonance spectroscopy assessment of brain injury after moderate hypothermia in neonatal encephalopathy: a prospective multi-centre study, Lancet Neurology, Vol: 18, Pages: 35-45, ISSN: 1474-4422

BackgroundIn neonatal encephalopathy (NE), the clinical manifestations of injury can only be reliably assessed several years after an intervention, complicating early prognostication and rendering trials of promising neuroprotectants slow and expensive. We aimed to determine the accuracy of thalamic proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) biomarkers as early predictors of the neurodevelopmental abnormalities observed years after NE.MethodsWe conducted a prospective multi-centre cohort study across eight neonatal intensive care units, recruiting term neonates who received therapeutic hypothermia for NE. We obtained thalamic 1H MRS 4 to 14 days after birth, which were compared to clinical neurodevelopmental tests performed 18 to 24 months later. The primary endpoint was anabnormal outcome, defined as death, or moderate or severe disability. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to examine the strength of the relationship between selected biomarkers and this outcome.FindingsWe recruited 223 infants who all underwent MR imaging and spectroscopy at a median (IQR) age of 7 (5 to 10) days, with 190 (85%) followed up for neurological examination at a median (IQR) age of 23 (20 to 25) months. Of those followed up, 31 (16%) had moderate or severe disability, including one death. The thalamic concentration of Nacetylasparate, [NAA], had an area under the ROC curve (AUC) of 0·99 (95% CI 0·94 to 1·00, n=82), and lactate/NAA peak area ratio had an AUC of 0·94 (95% CI 0·89 to 0·97, n=160). From conventional MRI, abnormal signal in the posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC) gave an AUC of 0·82 (95% CI 0·76 to 0·87, n=190). Thalamic [NAA] was independentlyassociated with neurodevelopmental outcome scores on multivariable analysis, and had higher prognostic accuracy than conventional MR imaging (98% versus 87%; p<0·001).InterpretationThalamic 1H MRS measures acquired soon after

Journal article

Zetterberg H, Winblad B, Bernick C, Yaffe K, Majdan M, Johansson G, Newcombe V, Nyberg L, Sharp D, Tenovuo O, Blennow Ket al., 2018, Head trauma in sports - clinical characteristics, epidemiology and biomarkers., J Intern Med

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is clinically divided into a spectrum of severities, with mild TBI being the least severe form and a frequent occurrence in contact sports, such as ice hockey, American football, rugby, horse riding and boxing. Mild TBI is caused by blunt nonpenetrating head trauma that causes movement of the brain and stretching and tearing of axons, with diffuse axonal injury being a central pathogenic mechanism. Mild TBI is in principle synonymous with concussion; both have similar criteria in which the most important elements are acute alteration or loss of consciousness and/or post-traumatic amnesia following head trauma and no apparent brain changes on standard neuroimaging. Symptoms in mild TBI are highly variable and there are no validated imaging or fluid biomarkers to determine whether or not a patient with a normal computerized tomography scan of the brain has neuronal damage. Mild TBI typically resolves within a few weeks but 10-15% of concussion patients develop postconcussive syndrome. Repetitive mild TBI, which is frequent in contact sports, is a risk factor for a complicated recovery process. This overview paper discusses the relationships between repetitive head impacts in contact sports, mild TBI and chronic neurological symptoms. What are these conditions, how common are they, how are they linked and can they be objectified using imaging or fluid-based biomarkers? It gives an update on the current state of research on these questions with a specific focus on clinical characteristics, epidemiology and biomarkers.

Journal article

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