A Brain Electrical Activity Electroencephalographic-Based Biomarker of Functional Impairment in Traumatic Brain Injury: A Multi-Site Validation Trial

Daniel F Hanley, Leslie S. Prichep, Neeraj Badjatia, Jeffrey Bazarian, Richard Chiacchierini, Kenneth C. Curley, John Garrett, Elizabeth Jones, Rosanne Naunheim, Brian O'Neil, John O'Neill, David W. Wright, J. Stephen Huff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The potential clinical utility of a novel quantitative electroencephalographic (EEG)-based Brain Function Index (BFI) as a measure of the presence and severity of functional brain injury was studied as part of an independent prospective validation trial. The BFI was derived using quantitative EEG (QEEG) features associated with functional brain impairment reflecting current consensus on the physiology of concussive injury. Seven hundred and twenty adult patients (18-85 years of age) evaluated within 72 h of sustaining a closed head injury were enrolled at 11 U.S. emergency departments (EDs). Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score was 15 in 97%. Standard clinical evaluations were conducted and 5 to 10 min of EEG acquired from frontal locations. Clinical utility of the BFI was assessed for raw scores and percentile values. A multinomial logistic regression analysis demonstrated that the odds ratios (computed against controls) of the mild and moderate functionally impaired groups were significantly different from the odds ratio of the computed tomography (CT) postive (CT+, structural injury visible on CT) group (p = 0.0009 and p = 0.0026, respectively). However, no significant differences were observed between the odds ratios of the mild and moderately functionally impaired groups. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) demonstrated significant differences in BFI among normal (16.8%), mild TBI (mTBI)/concussed with mild or moderate functional impairment, (61.3%), and CT+ (21.9%) patients (p < 0.0001). Regression slopes of the odds ratios for likelihood of group membership suggest a relationship between the BFI and severity of impairment. Findings support the BFI as a quantitative marker of brain function impairment, which scaled with severity of functional impairment in mTBI patients. When integrated into the clinical assessment, the BFI has the potential to aid in early diagnosis and thereby potential to impact the sequelae of TBI by providing an objective marker that is available at the point of care, hand-held, non-invasive, and rapid to obtain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-47
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018



  • brain electrical activity
  • concussion
  • ED triage
  • EEG
  • functional impairment
  • mTBI
  • TBI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Hanley, D. F., Prichep, L. S., Badjatia, N., Bazarian, J., Chiacchierini, R., Curley, K. C., Garrett, J., Jones, E., Naunheim, R., O'Neil, B., O'Neill, J., Wright, D. W., & Huff, J. S. (2018). A Brain Electrical Activity Electroencephalographic-Based Biomarker of Functional Impairment in Traumatic Brain Injury: A Multi-Site Validation Trial. Journal of Neurotrauma, 35(1), 41-47. https://doi.org/10.1089/neu.2017.5004