Brain Connectivity, Acute Post-Concussion Symptoms, and Cognition in Adults With Concussion: A Quantitative Electroencephalography Study


  • Francesca Buhagiar The Universityof Western Australia, ISNR member
  • Melinda Fitzgerald bCurtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Bentley, WA, Australia, cPerron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science, Nedlands, WA, Australia,
  • Sarah Hellewell Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Bentley, WA, Australia, Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science, Nedlands, WA, Australia,
  • Jason Bell
  • Samantha Moore School of Psychological Science, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia
  • Aleksandra Gozt Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Bentley, WA, Australia, Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science, Nedlands, WA, Australia,
  • Jacinta Thorne bCurtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Bentley, WA, Australia, cPerron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science, Nedlands, WA, Australia, dSchool of Allied Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Bentley, WA, Australia,
  • Elizabeth Thomas eSchool of Population Health, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, fMedical School, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia,
  • Antonio Celenza Medical School, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia,
  • Dan Xu eSchool of Population Health, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, gCurtin Medical School, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Bentley, WA, Australia, iThe First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University Guangzhou, China,
  • Suzanne Robinson jDeakin Health Economics, Institute for Health Transformation, Deakin University, kenAble Institute, Curtin University, Bentley, WA, Australia
  • Gill Cowen gCurtin Medical School, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Bentley, WA, Australia,
  • Michael Bynevelt Neurological Intervention and Imaging Service of Western Australia, Australia,
  • Daniel Fatovich Emergency Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • Carmela Pestell School of Psychological Science, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia, bCurtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Bentley, WA, Australia,



Default Mode Network, Salience Network, Frontoparietal Network, Post-Concussion Symptoms, Quantitative Electroencephalography


Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) accounts for 80–90% of all TBI. Post-mTBI symptoms are measured using the Post-Concussion Symptom Scale (PCSS); however, symptom heterogeneity limits specificity. Better understanding of the neuropathophysiology underlying post-concussion symptoms could enhance diagnostic accuracy. We explored the association between network connectivity, PCSS and neuropsychological functioning within 7 days post-mTBI. We hypothesized that network dysregulation would (a) correlate positively with PCSS scores and (b) correlate negatively with cognitive performance; and that (c) cognitive performance would correlate negatively with PCSS scores. Network activity was measured in 19 participants aged 21 to 65, following a medically diagnosed mTBI. Quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) measured default mode, salience, and frontoparietal networks, while cognition was measured via neuropsychological assessment. Hypothesis (a) was not supported. Of the cognitive domains, support was only found for an association between network dysfunction and immediate memory. There was no association between neuropsychological performance and PCSS scores. PCSS scores were not a sensitive indicator of neuropsychological status and did not reflect the status of underlying brain network regulation. This study provides preliminary evidence for immediate memory as an indicator of altered network connectivity in acute mTBI. Evaluating neurophysiological and cognitive impacts of mTBI may improve understanding of individual recovery needs.


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