Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Brain vital signs

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Brain vital signs refers to a set of fundamental measurements of brain health. The term was first used by Dr. Ryan C.N. D'Arcy in a 2013 Maclean's article. The concept of brain vital signs has since developed as a means to help preserve, restore, and improve brain health. Analogous to traditional vital signs for the body, brain vital signs provide an objective, clinically accessible framework to measure the general health of the brain, assist in detecting and analyzing brain conditions, and monitor recovery from injury or disease.

History

Brain function was, in the past, often measured clinically by subjective screening tools, like the Glasgow Coma Scale. However, the majority of tests are intended to measure the degree of impairment after brain injury and/or disease, rather than the actual health status and performance of the brain. To address the need to monitor general changes in brain health, the concept of brain vital signs was developed in order to define and quantify brain function using objective physiological testing through electroencephalography (EEG). The initial scientific report for a brain vital sign framework was first published in May 2016, utilizing three well established event-related brain potentials (ERPs) called the N100, P300, and N400.

Due to the practical advantages of low cost, widespread availability and portability, EEG and its derivate ERPs are well suited for use in point-of-care assessments. Clinical use of ERPs have been growing in recent years due to their robust diagnostic and prognostic capabilities. The Halifax Consciousness Scanner (HCS) provided an automated ERP based device capable of providing a profile of brain function. However, the fundamental need for a brain vital sign capable of monitoring brain vitality changes over time was not met until recently. The establishment of a framework for brain vital sign (BVS) assessment has in turn enabled the creation of NeuroCatch, an advanced technology platform capable of eliciting and quantifying BVS.

References

Brain vital signs Wikipedia


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