Overprikkeling na hersenletsel – English Version

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Did you know that sensory hypersensitivity is prevalent after acquired brain injury? 

Indeed, acquired brain injury patients frequently report an increased sensitivity to sensory stimuli following their brain injury compared to their pre-injury state (i.e., post-injury sensory hypersensitivity). Since post-injury sensory hypersensitivity can negatively impact quality of life, it is crucial to have appropriate assessment and treatment methods. However, adequate assessment and treatment is hindered by a lack of appropriate diagnostic tools as well as limited knowledge about the underlying mechanisms of self-reported post-injury sensory hypersensitivity.

Patient-friendly assessment of sensory sensitivity after brain injury

To address these issues, we developed the Multi-Modal Evaluation of Sensory Sensitivity (MESSY), a patient-friendly questionnaire that assesses sensory sensitivity across multiple sensory modalities (Thielen, Huenges Wajer et al., 2023, see below). The MESSY has adequate psychometric properties in neurotypical adults and is sensitive to sensory hypersensitivity in chronic stroke, traumatic brain injury, and brain tumour patients. There are two versions of the MESSY: one version can be used in adults with a brain injury who are hospitalized in a hospital or rehabilitation injury and another version that can be used in non-hospitalized adults.

Interested in using the MESSY for research or clinical practice?

The Dutch version of the MESSY for non-hospitalized adults is freely available here.

Do you want to translate the MESSY to another language?

We highly encourage the translation of the MESSY to other languages. The MESSY is protected by copyright and may not be further distributed or translated without the permission of Dr. Hella Thielen and Prof. Dr. Céline Gillebert. To ask for permission for a translation, please contact the researchers via hella.thielen@kuleuven.be

Terms and conditions:

  • The MESSY is protected by copyright and may not be further distributed or translated without the permission of Dr. Hella Thielen and Prof. Dr. Céline Gillebert.
  • The interpretation of data obtained with the MESSY and the decisions made by healthcare professionals based on this data (e.g., for the treatment of the client) are the responsibility of the user.
  • KU Leuven disclaims any negative consequences arising from changes and translations of the MESSY that occur without the permission of Dr. Hella Thielen and Prof. Dr. Céline Gillebert (KU Leuven).

Upcoming translations of the MESSY

     English translation (non-hospitalized adults), in collaboration with Dr. Kathleen VanCleef (Durham University)

       Italian translation (hospitalized adults), in collaboration with Dr. Francesca Burgio (San Camillo IRCCS Research Hospital, Venice)

 

Underlying behavioural and neural mechanisms of post-injury sensory sensitivity

After contributing to the improvement of the assessment of self-reported post-injury sensory sensitivity, we were able to start examining its underlying behavioural and neural mechanisms. In subsequent studies we explored the relationship between subjective visual sensitivity on the one hand and selective attention, sensory thresholds, and sensory processing speed on the other hand in subacute stroke patients (Thielen et al., submitted).

 

In addition, to explore the neural basis of post-injury sensory hypersensitivity we conducted a systematic literature review (Thielen, Tuts et al., 2023), a multiple case study (Thielen, Tuts et al., 2023), and a lesion-symptom mapping study (Thielen et al., submitted).

By contributing to scientific advancement and providing a patient-friendly diagnostic tool, we hope to improve patient care and in turn the quality of life of acquired brain injury patients with post-injury sensory hypersensitivity.

 

Overview of our publications on sensory sensitivity after acquired brain injury:

Thielen, H., Huenges Wajer, I., Tuts, N., Welkenhuyzen, L., Lafosse, C., & Gillebert, C.R. (2023) The Multi-Modal Evaluation of Sensory Sensitivity (MESSY):  assessing a commonly missed symptom of acquired brain injury. The Clinical Neuropsychologist. (full text)

Thielen, H., Tuts, N., Lafosse, C., & Gillebert, C.R. (2023) The Neuroanatomy of Poststroke Subjective Sensory Hypersensitivity. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, 36(2):68-84 (DOI).

Thielen, H., Tuts, N., Welkenhuyzen, L., Huenges Wajer, I.M.C., Lafosse, C., & Gillebert, C.R. (2023) Sensory sensitivity after acquired brain injury a systematic review. Journal of Neuropsychology, 17(1):1-31 (DOI).

Thielen, H., & Gillebert, C.R. (2019) Sensory sensitivity: should we consider attention in addition to prediction? Cognitive Neuroscience, 10(3):158-160 (PDF)

 

Doctoral thesis on sensory sensitivity after acquired brain injury

Dr. Hella Thielen wrote a doctoral thesis on sensory sensitivity after acquired brain injury. You can find a summary of the doctoral thesis here. If you are interested in reading the entire thesis, please send an e-mail to hella.thielen@kuleuven.be

 

 

Do you have questions for the researchers?