History of Brain Injury Alters Cerebral Haemodynamic Oscillations with Cardiac Influence


(1) Background: Cerebral autoregulation is altered during acute mild traumatic brain injury, or concussion. However, it is unknown how a history of concussion can impact cerebral haemodynamic activity during a task that elicits an autoregulatory response. (2) Methods: We assessed cerebral haemodynamic activity in those with a history of three or more concussions. The study included 44 retired athletes with concussion history and 25 control participants. We recorded participants’ relative changes in right and left pre-frontal cortex oxygenation collected by near-infrared spectroscopy and continuous beat-to-beat blood pressure measured by finger photoplethysmography. Participants completed a 5-min seated rest followed by a 5-min repeated squat (10-s) stand (10-s) maneuver (0.05 Hz) to elicit a cerebral autoregulatory response. Wavelet transformation was applied to the collected signals, allowing separation into cardiac interval I (0.6 to 2 Hz), respiratory interval II (0.145 to 0.6 Hz), and smooth muscle cell interval III (0.052 to 0.145 Hz). (3) Results: Significant increases at cardiac interval I were found for the wavelet amplitude of oxy-haemoglobin and haemoglobin difference at the right pre-frontal cortex. No significant difference was found at the left pre-frontal cortex or the blood pressure wavelet amplitudes. (4) Conclusions: Contributions from cardiac activity to the pre-frontal cortex oxygenation are elevated when eliciting dynamic cerebral autoregulation in those with a history of three or more concussions.

Brain Sciences