Cranial Bone Changes Induced by Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries: A Neglected Player in Concussion Outcomes?

Bridgette D. Semple, Olga Panagiotopoulou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), particularly when repetitive in nature, are increasingly recognized to have a range of significant negative implications for brain health. Much of the ongoing research in the field is focused on the neurological consequences of these injuries and the relationship between TBIs and long-Term neurodegenerative conditions such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy and Alzheimer's disease. However, our understanding of the complex relationship between applied mechanical force at impact, brain pathophysiology, and neurological function remains incomplete. Past research has shown that mild TBIs, even below the threshold that results in cranial fracture, induce changes in cranial bone structure and morphology. These structural and physiological changes likely have implications for the transmission of mechanical force into the underlying brain parenchyma. Here, we review this evidence in the context of the current understanding of bone mechanosensitivity and the consequences of TBIs or concussions. We postulate that heterogeneity of the calvarium, including differing bone thickness attributable to past impacts, age, or individual variability, may be a modulator of outcomes after subsequent TBIs. We advocate for greater consideration of cranial responses to TBI in both experimental and computer modeling of impact biomechanics, and raise the hypothesis that calvarial bone thickness represents a novel biomarker of brain injury vulnerability post-TBI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-403
Number of pages8
JournalNeurotrauma Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


  • biomechanics
  • bone
  • calvarium
  • fracture
  • pathology
  • traumatic brain injury

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