Repeated concussions thickens the skull bones

September 5, 2022
Repeated concussions thickens the skull bones

Repeated blows to the head have caused a gradual “thickening” in the skulls of rats, researchers from Monash University (Monash), Australia, report. Concussions or mild traumatic impacts from blows can undoubtedly lead to neurological problems; at the same time, an “increase in the volume and thickness” of the skull as a result of these blows is hypothesised to protect the soft tissue beneath from further injury.

The researchers at Monash mimicked such an injury in rats by using a weight-drop device. The blows were delivered in sets of one, two or three, administered at regular 24-hour intervals. Thereafter, the animals’ skull bones were analysed using micro-CT (computerised tomography) scans.

The researchers noted modest increases in skull bone thickness at the two-week mark, and a “robust increase in the volume and thickness” of the skull bone closest to the injury site – this group of rats each received two impacts a day and were also noted to develop a decreased volume of marrow cavities in a region of the skull.

“We have been ignoring the potential influence of the skull in how concussive impacts can affect the brain (structure and function),” said Associate Professor Bridgette Semple from Monash’s Central Clinical School Department of Neuroscience. “These new findings highlight that the skull may be an important factor that affects the consequences of repeated concussions for individuals.”

An investigation into whether a thickened skull can alter the amount of force that impacts on brain tissue in concussive injuries will soon follow.


Category: Education, Features

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