Athletes engaged in high-impact sports are at high risk of incurring a type of brain injury known as concussion. To communicate the mechanisms underlying sports-related concussions, we have created a high-end 3D animation in Autodesk Maya, focusing on the biomechanics and pathophysiology of the condition.
In collegiate sports, mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) may constitute the most common form of injury. Many retired professional athletes in high-impact sports such as hockey and football have gone public about their health problems suspected to be connected with concussions that took place during their careers. Providing visual evidence of the rationale behind return-to-play guidelines may help to increase adherence and awareness.
For a comprehensive list of of all references used in this project, CLICK HERE. This bibliography includes sources in the areas of concussion assessment, clinical outcomes, biomechanics of injury, and pathophysiology. I have also included references for visual strategies to enhance learning.
An evidence-based visualization depicting deformation of human brain tissue and axonal injuries possibly connected with mTBIs can assist both players and coaches in understanding the importance of preventative strategies, proper injury management and strict adherance to return-to-play guidelines. This visualization could also potentially be of use to bioengineers and sports medicine professionals conducting research into the epidemiology of mTBI.
The research surrounding traumatic head injuries is rich for opportunities to visualize. Some potential future visualizaions may include:
Short- and long-term clinical manifestations
Consequences of cumulative sub-concussive hits
Indirect impacts that transfer rotational acceleration
Role of tau and beta-amyloid proteins
Related biochemical pathways
Associated mitochondrial dysfunction
This animation was completed over the course of a year and involved well over 600 hours of production time.
This project would not be possible were it not for the expertise and patience of my professors at BMC, especially Marc Dryer & Michael Corrin.
Special thanks to the presenters at the 6th Annual Injury Biomechanics Symposium in Columbus, Ohio USA.
Invaluable assistance was provided by neurosurgeons at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON Canada.