The Brain Injury and Mechanisms of Action of Hyperbaric Oxygen for Persistent Post-Concussive Symptoms after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) (BIMA) study, sponsored by the Department of Defense, is a randomized double-blind, sham-controlled clinical trial that has a longer duration of follow-up and more comprehensive assessment battery compared to recent HBO₂ studies. BIMA randomized 71 participants from September 2012 to May 2014. Primary results are expected in 2017. Randomized military personnel received hyperbaric oxygen (HBO₂) at 1.5 atmospheres absolute (ATA) or sham chamber sessions at 1.2 ATA, air, for 60 minutes daily for 40 sessions. Outcomes include neuropsychological, neuroimaging, neurological, vestibular, autonomic function, electroencephalography, and visual systems evaluated at baseline, immediately following intervention at 13 weeks and six months with self-report symptom and quality of life questionnaires at 12 months, 24 months and 36 months. Characteristics include: median age 33 years (range 21-53); 99% male; 82% Caucasian; 49% diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder; 28% with most recent injury three months to one year prior to enrollment; 32% blast injuries; and 73% multiple injuries. This manuscript describes the study design, outcome assessment battery, and baseline characteristics. Independent of a therapeutic role of HBO₂, results of BIMA will aid understanding of mTBI.
The Brain Injury and Mechanisms of Action of HBO₂ for Persistent Post-Concussive Symptoms after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (BIMA), sponsored by the Department of Defense, is a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled trial of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO₂) in service members with persistent post-concussive symptoms following mild TBI, undergoing comprehensive assessments. The clinical EEG was assessed by neurologists for slow wave activity, ictal/interictal epileptiform abnormalities, and background periodic discharges. There is scant literature about EEG findings in this population, so we report baseline clinical EEG results and explore associations with other evaluations, including demographics, medication, neurological assessments, and clinical MRI outcomes. Seventy-one participants were enrolled: median age 32 years, 99% male, 49% comorbid PTSD, 28% with mTBI in the previous year, 32% blast injuries only, and 73% multiple injuries. All participants reported medication use (mean medications = 8, SD = 5). Slowing was present in 39%: generalized 37%, localized 8%, both 6%. No other abnormalities were identified. Slowing was not significantly associated with demographics, medication or neurological evaluation. Participants without EEG abnormalities paradoxically had significantly higher number of white matter hyperintensities as identified on MRI (p = 0.003). EEG slowing is present in more than one-third of participants in this study without evidence of associations with demographics, medications or neurological findings.