Research press release


Scientific Reports

Neuroscience: Sound processing may help diagnose concussion



今回、Nina Krausの研究チームは、平均年齢13歳の40人の子ども(そのうちの20人が脳震盪を起こした)を対象として、発話音声の基本周波数(音声と話者を追跡、特定するために用いられる音響キュー)を処理する能力が阻害されるのかどうかを調べた。その結果、脳震盪を起こした子どもには特徴的な神経プロファイルがあり、脳震盪を起こしていない子どもと異なっていることが明らかになった。また、各グループの参加者のFFRの測定結果からは、音声の神経処理を監視することで、脳震盪症例の90%と対照症例の95%を正しく判定できることが分かった。今後は、新たなコホートにおける検証など、いろいろな研究を積み重ねる必要があるが、脳震盪の診断と管理においてFFRが役立つと考えられることをKrausたちは指摘している。

A biological marker, which may help diagnose children who have experienced concussion, has been identified in a study published in Scientific Reports. In this initial study, the authors tested the hypothesis that concussions disrupt the neural processing of speech, and believe that measuring speech-evoked frequency-following responses (FFRs) - neural signals generated in the brain upon hearing sound - may assist in the diagnosis and management of concussions.

Currently no single test has been validated to reliably diagnose concussion; instead, clinicians rely on weighing up a number of symptoms across multiple organ systems in order to make a diagnosis. However, among the consequences of mild traumatic brain injuries, such as concussion, is a compromised ability to make sense of sound.

In a study involving 40 children (20 of whom had sustained concussion) with an average age of 13, Nina Kraus and colleagues investigated if concussion disrupts the ability to process the fundamental frequency of speech - an acoustic cue used to track and identify sounds and speakers. The authors found that children with concussion exhibit a signature neural profile that distinguishes them from those without concussion. By measuring FFRs of participants in each group, the authors found that monitoring neural processing of sound correctly identified 90% of concussion cases and 95% of the control cases. The authors note that further studies are needed, including validation in a novel cohort, but FFR may assist in the diagnosis and management of concussions in the future.

doi: 10.1038/srep39009


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