Research Reports - Heart rate variability and serum level of insulin-like growth factor-1 are correlated with symptoms of emotional disorders in patients suffering a mild traumatic brain injury

Clin Neurophysiol. 2015 Aug 28. pii: S1388-2457(15)00757-9. doi:
10.1016/j.clinph.2015.08.006. [Epub ahead of print]

Sung CW(1), Chen KY(2), Chiang YH(3), Chiu WT(4), Ou JC(5), Lee HC(6), Tsai
SH(4), Lin JW(7), Yang CM(8), Tsai YR(2), Liao KH(9), Chen GS(10), Li WJ(11),
Wang JY(12).

OBJECTIVE: Patients who have experienced a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) are
susceptible to symptoms of anxiety or depression. To explore the potential
biomarkers for emotional disorders in mTBI patients, we analyzed the frequency
domain of heart rate variability (HRV) and serum concentrations of four
neurohormones.
METHODS: We assessed mTBI patients on their first visit and follow-up. Symptoms
were evaluated by the Beck Anxiety Inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory,
respectively. Serum levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), melatonin,
cortisol, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 and HRV follow-ups were measured
and compared.
RESULTS: mTBI patients were more vulnerable to symptoms of anxiety or depression
than healthy controls. Reduced HRV was noted in mTBI patients compared to healthy
controls. The mTBI patients demonstrated higher serum levels of ACTH, lower IGF-1
compared to healthy controls. In correlation analysis, only IGF-1 was positively
correlated with HRV in mTBI patients. Both HRV and IGF-1 were correlated with
symptom of depression while only HRV was correlated with symptom of anxiety in
mTBI patients.
CONCLUSIONS: We infer that HRV may be more significantly correlated with
emotional disorders than is IGF-1 in mTBI patients.
SIGNIFICANCE: The study is relevant for specific diagnostic markers in mTBI
patients.

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